Former first lady Laura Bush revealed in an interview this week that she supports the legalization of same-sex marriage and abortion.
In an interview with CNN's Larry King on Tuesday, Bush said she differed with her husband, former President George W. Bush, who is well-known for his opposition to gay marriage and abortion. While the two "disagree," she said both understand where the other person is coming from.
"There are a lot of people who have trouble coming to terms with that because they see marriage as traditionally between a man and a woman," Bush said in the interview. "But I also know that, you know, when couples are committed to each other and love each other, that they ought to have, I think, the same sort of rights that everyone has."
The former first lady stated she could accept gay marriage and she believes the legalization of same-sex marriage will eventually occur in the United States.
Her interview on "Larry King Live" was to promote her new book Spoken from the Heart. In the book, she hinted of her support for gay marriage but did not make her stance clear until the interview.
"I had talked to George about not making gay marriage a significant issue" in the 2004 presidential campaign, Bush wrote. "We have, I reminded him, a number of close friends who are gay or whose children are gay."
But for political reasons, wanting to support her president husband, Laura Bush kept her personal opinion on the contentious issue mostly to herself for the eight years she lived in the White House. In the public, she adopted the stance of her husband.
Bush also said she disagrees with her husband about Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that legalized abortion on demand.
"I think it's important that it remain legal, because I think it's important for people, for medical reasons and other reasons," she said.
While in office, President Bush was a strong opponent of abortion. One of his first acts as president in 2001 was to reinstate the Mexico City policy, which bans federal funding for overseas organizations that promote or perform abortion. Former President Bill Clinton had lifted the ban before Bush, and President Obama lifted the ban after he came to office.
There are currently five states where same-sex marriage is legal: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. And in December, federal district Washington, D.C., legalized gay marriage.