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President Bush the Elder on Gay Marriage: 'People Have a Right to Be Happy'

President Bush the Elder on Gay Marriage: 'People Have a Right to Be Happy'

Photo via Facebook/Helen Thorgalsen

"I guess you could say I have mellowed," the 41st president said. 

President George H. W. Bush, the father of President George W. Bush and presidential hopeful Jeb Bush, has shown himself to be far more socially liberal than his sons in recent years. While in 1988 the New York Times reports that he is recorded having said that he didn't believe marriage between same-sex couples should be "codified," at the age of 91 he's changed his tune. In his own words, he's "mellowed out."

His evolution on the issue was first noted a number of years ago. In 2013, President Bush the Elder and his wife Barbara served as witnesses at the wedding of their longtime friends Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen (pictured above). According to the New York Times, his current position is as follows:

"Personally, I still believe in traditional marriage. But people should be able to do what they want to do, without discrimination. People have a right to be happy. I guess you could say I have mellowed."

The revelations on his newfound marriage equality stance come from information revealed in a new biography, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, in which the patriarch also lashes out at former advisors to his son, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.

Following the Supreme Court's legalization of marriage equality in June, Jeb Bush said that while he continues to believe in traditional marriage, the issue should be a matter for the states to decide. As president in 2004, George Bush the Younger worked towards a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage. His wife, former First Lady Laura Bush, announced her support for marriage equality in 2010, as did his Vice President Dick Cheney.

For more on the new biography by Jon Meacham, read the full article.

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