George W. Bush Wanted to Officiate a Gay Wedding

The conservative former president once offered to marry two friends who just happened to be a lesbian couple.

Photo via WikiMedia

Considering George W. Bush doesn’t exactly have the best history with the gay community, many readers found it shocking when The Boston Globe reported earlier last week that Bush actually offered to officiate a lesbian wedding in 2013 before having to cancel due to scheduling concerns.

It’s a small line in a story symbolic of a remarkable shift in thinking. In 2004, Bush supported a constitutional ban against gay marriage, even as he advocated for civil unions. Just ten years later, George’s father shocked the world by attending a wedding of lesbian general store owners. While Dubya stayed silent at the time, it’s since been revealed that he wasn’t being hostile—he actually wanted to officiate the ceremony. Officiating is considered one of the highest honors in a wedding ceremony (also, a great opportunity to get out of giving a gift). Bush’s offer reflected just the kind of compassionate conservatism he hoped would characterize his time spent in office.

The artist and his brush

The former Republican president appears to have softened in recent years, both in the positions he’s chosen (from gay rights to immigration) to the palettes he’s selected (see: the George W. Bush masterpiece collection). While Bush has only offered subtle hints that he’s changed his view on gay marriage, Americans (and general store owners everywhere) are waiting.