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Laura Bush Asks to Be Removed from Pro-Gay Ad

By Lucas Grindley

Laura Bush wants out of a pro-marriage equality ad that is part of a $1 million campaign from a new coalition, but she won't be getting her wish.

The former first lady appears among clips from a series of Republicans supporting marriage equality during public appearances throughout the years, including former vice president Dick Cheney and former secretary of State Colin Powell.

"When couples are committed, they ought to have the same sort of rights that everyone has," Bush is seen saying during a CNN interview. Her statement got a lot of attention when she made it in 2010 because it broke with her husband's policies as president.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Bush spokeswoman Anne MacDonald said her boss “did not approve of her inclusion in this advertisement nor is she associated with the group that made the ad in any way.” And Bush has asked the Respect for Marriage Coalition, which is chaired by the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry, to remove her from the ad.

The group is already planning its second ad in the campaign, so the first ad will quickly be replaced on air, but there are no plans to remove the first lady in the present version. A statement from the coalition thanked the first lady for her previous statements: “We used public comments for this ad from American leaders who have expressed support for civil marriage. 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 commercial's clip is short, but Bush had actually said even more about the issue during the conversation with CNN's Larry King, who asked about an admission in Bush's book, Spoken From the Heart, that she'd once asked President Bush not to make same-sex marriage a campaign issue.

"I think that we ought to definitely look at it and debate it," she told King, before her quote from the ad.

Bush: “I understand totally what George thinks and what other people think about marriage being between a man and a woman, and it’s a real reversal of that to accept gay marriage.”

King: “But you do?”

Bush: “But I think we could, yeah. I think it's also a generational thing."

King: "Do you think it's coming."

Bush: "Yeah, it will come, I think."

Watch a clip from the interview below, and the commercial.

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