February 21, 2013
The Respect for Marriage Coalition announced today that it is abiding by Laura Bush’s desire that her statement of public support for marriage equality not be featured in a new ad the group unveiled this week, POLITICO reports. “We used public comments for this ad from American leaders who have expressed support for civil marriage,” the Coalition said in a statement. “We appreciate Mrs. Bush’s previous comments but are sorry she didn’t want to be included in an ad. The ad launched a public education campaign that will now move to new and different voices that reflect the depth and breadth of our support.”
The Coalition is now running a new that features Craig Stowell, a Republican former Marine who has spoken out before in support of marriage equality–including in front of the New Hampshire legislature in 2011 when Republican legislators proposed rescinding that state’s equal marriage laws. “As Americans, we believe in freedom,” Stowell says in the ad. “That’s what I fought for as a marine, and that’s what he believe in as Republicans. Freedom means freedom for everyone. I didn’t used to understand the importance of same-sex marriage, but after learning my brother was gay, I wanted the same rights for him. He was the best man at my wedding. And I want to be the best man at his. It’s only fair that Calvin should have the freedom to marry the person he loves, too.”
You can watch the new ad with Sotwell’s comments below.