Really? Boston Globe Claims George W. Bush Wanted to Officiate Same-sex Wedding

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Several media outlets on the right have picked up on a Washington Blade headline that sounds shocking but hasn’t really been substantiated.

Currently, there’s little evidence to support the claim that George W. Bush “sought” the opportunity to officiate at a same-sex wedding, or even that he ever agreed to do so, beyond one mention in a Boston Globe report. A cursory look at press coverage at the time did turn up a report saying George W. Bush and Laura were invited to attend the wedding but couldn’t due to a scheduling conflict. And there was no mention of any official role back in 2013.

George W. Bush sought to officiate same-sex wedding: report 

Despite his reputation for being an ardent opponent of LGBT rights and supporter of a U.S. constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, former President George W. Bush sought to officiate over a lesbian wedding in 2013, according to a recent report in the Boston Globe.

Breitbart News has emailed Globe reporter Matt Viser for comment but did not immediately receive a response.  Via the Globe:

Some mornings, Bush drops into H.B. Provisions, a cozy general store owned by Bonnie Clement and her wife, Helen Thorgalsen (George H.W. Bush made international headlines when he attended their wedding in 2013; George W. Bush offered to perform the ceremony but had a scheduling conflict).

A Daily Mail report casts doubt on the Globe report.

A spokesman for the former president said that Bush couldn’t be sure whether such an offer had been made.

Freddy Ford told ‘President Bush is indeed friends with Bonnie and Helen, but he doesn’t recall making such an offer.’

In follow up, the Blade was told there’s no story there.

The Blade also contacted H.B. Provisions in Kennebunkport regarding the Boston Globe article. Before hanging up, someone who answered the phone replied, “There’s no story there. There’s nothing to tell. Please just leave me alone.”

Coverage of the wedding at the time makes no mention of an official role for George W. Bush but does say he and Laura were invited but unable to attend.

Many of the news bites focused on the fact that Bush’s son, President George W. Bush, has opposed gay marriage. But Clement and Thorgalsen say the Bushes did not witness their marriage certificate as a means to speak out on the issue of gay marriage. In fact, the younger George Bush and his wife, Laura, were invited to the wedding at a home near the Bush family’s compound at Walker’s Point, but had other commitments.


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