Obama, Cheney, Bush and Powell in New Pro-Gay Marriage Ad
A new advertisement launched by the Respect for Marriage Coalition on Wednesday shows U.S. President Barack Obama, former first lady Laura Bush, former vice president Dick Cheney, and former secretary of state Colin Powell, all speaking out on their support for same-sex marriage in the U.S.
The reported purpose of the advertisement, which is a part of a $1 million media campaign by the Respect for Marriage Coalition, is to show politicians from both sides of the aisle uniting over the issue of same-sex marriage.
For example, Cheney and Obama have previously had numerous disagreements regarding national security, yet they agree on the topic of same-sex marriage.
"Against the backdrop of President Obama's historic comments about marriage rights in his inaugural address, freedom to marry legislation pending in a number of states, and two landmark marriage cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Coalition is working to grow support for marriage rights for same-sex couples across the nation," the Respect for Marriage Coalition, which is co-chaired by the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement regarding the recent commercial.
The advertisement features previous clips of Cheney, Obama, Bush, and Powell discussing their support for same-sex marriage.
Laura Bush's portion of the commercial features a 2010 interview with CNN's Larry King in which the former first lady says: "When couples are committed to each other and love each other that they ought to have the same sort of rights that everyone has."
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Powell's portion, also from a previous CNN interview, includes the former secretary of state saying he believes allowing same-sex couples to "live together with the protection of law, it seems to me is the way we should be moving in this country."
The commercial also features Obama making this statement during his inaugural address in January: "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law."
In the Cheney clip, the former vice president says, "Freedom means freedom for everyone."
In the original airing of this speech, which was delivered in 2009 at the National Press Club, Cheney went on to say that he supports the legalization of same-sex marriage on a state level, not a federal level.
"The question of whether or not there should be a federal statute on this, I don't support … This is a state issue, and I think that's how it should be handled today," Cheney said in his original speech.
The advertisement is expected to air on Sunday morning talk shows and on national cable channels, according to Politico.
Multiple political couples have previously found themselves on opposing sides of the same-sex marriage debate.
Former first lady Laura Bush, for example, wrote in her book Spoken From the Heart that during the 2004 presidential election, she asked her husband, George W. Bush, to not make gay marriage a primary social issue of his presidential platform, as she supports gay marriage and he does not.
Former President Bush did ultimately tackle the issue of same-sex marriage in 2004, endorsing a constitutional amendment which would restrict marriage to two people of the opposite sex.
"The union of a man and a woman is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith," Bush said in 2004, as reported by CNN.
"Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society," he added.
Additionally, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) was forced to reiterate his opposition to same-sex marriage after his wife, Cindy McCain, and his daughter, Meghan McCain, voiced their support for same-sex marriage in California through the NOH8 campaign in 2010.
The U.S. Supreme Court is currently facing two cases relating to same-sex marriage, including California's Proposition 8 gay marriage ban, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.