Former US President George H.W. Bush was an official witness at a same-sex wedding ceremony for two of his longtime friends, according to the Washington Times on Thursday.
Bush Sr. and his wife Barbara attended the ceremony joining Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen as private citizens and friends on Saturday, one of the Bush family spokespersons, Jim McGrath said.
Thorgalsen posted a photo on her Facebook page showing Bush signing the marriage license as a witness. She captioned the photo: "Getting our marriage license witnessed!"
In an email to The Washington Post, Clement says the couple has known the Bushes for many years. The Post writes that:
'This is such a wonderful time for change in our legal system,' she added. 'Who would be best to help us acknowledge the importance of our wedding as our friends and as the former leader of the free world. When they agreed to do so we just felt that it was the next acknowledgment of being real and normal.' Clement, 60, said she and Thorgalsen, 55, have been together for 12 years, during which she helped raise her new wife's now-adult daughters."
Gay marriage became legal in Maine in December.
Bush was in the White House when gay marriage wasn't as big a political issue as it is today. One of his sons, former President George W. Bush, opposed same-sex marriage and in 2004 announced his support for a proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw it. But his wife, Laura Bush, and their daughter Barbara Bush support gay marriage, as does his former vice president, Dick Cheney, whose daughter Mary Cheney is openly gay.
A spokesman for George W. Bush on Wednesday declined to comment on his current feelings about same-sex marriage or his thoughts about his father's role in a same-sex wedding.