UPDATE: Group responds to Laura Bush’s request to be removed from ad

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An ad featuring quotes from the Respect for Marriage Coalition’s video in The Washington Post on Feb. 20, 2013.

Former first lady Laura Bush is upset that an interview clip of her is being used in a marriage equality campaign.

Bush is featured in a Respect for Marriage Coalition video released Wednesday alongside clips from President Barack Obama, former vice president Dick Cheney and former secretary of state Colin Powell.

“When couples are committed to each other and love each they ought to have, I think, the same sort of rights that everyone has,” Bush says in the clip from a 2010 interview with Larry King where she endorsed gay marriage, explaining that it is something she and her husband disagree about.

But Bush apparently didn’t like her interview being used in the clip, according to her spokeswoman, who told the Dallas Morning News that she “did not approve of her inclusion in this advertisement nor is she associated with the group that made the ad in any way.”

Bush has requested that she be removed from the video, as well as further campaign materials like an ad in yesterday’s Washington Post, see above.

The Respect for Marriage Coalition responded that it was sorry Bush didn’t want to be included and the campaign will continue to include more leaders in the future.

“We used public comments for this ad from American leaders who have expressed support for civil marriage,” the organization said in an email. “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.”

Watch both the video and Bush’s interview with King below.

—  Dallasvoice

This weekend’s takeaways: Life+Style

If you weren’t at the Meyerson last night, you missed the historic appearance by former First Lady Laura Bush, appearing with her home town’s gay men’s chorus, the Turtle Creek Chorale, for a program that also featured the Army chorus. It marked the final concert of the TCC’s season, and the first since interim conductor Trey Jacobs was officially named the new permanent artistic director.

Dallas Theater Center’s production of God of Carnage at the Kalita provides a juicy bit of social commentary amid 75 minutes of serious belly laughs. And there’s still time to catch Memphis at Fair Park, an entertaining and occasionally moving musical about the history of rock ‘n’ roll on the radio with some radiant singing. (It was written by Tony winner Joe DiPietro.) The Dallas Children’s Theater wraps up its production of Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly soon with this family-friendly hip-hop musical about embracing differences in one another. And different it is — B.J. Cleveland does drag as a lady fly and Adam Garst cleverly James-Deans his way through the role of an angsty spider.

Mansome is still playing at the Angelika, and you’s be better off catching that — or even The Avengers again — rather than Men in Black 3, although it’s better than the last two. Or kick off summer’s first three-day weekend with some beach reading, especially In One Person, the new one by John Irving with a bisexual hero at its center. The is also Ye Fynall Week-End to enjoy Scarborough Faire, pictured.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Laura Bush to appear with Turtle Creek Chorale

Former first lady Laura Bush

On Thursday night, former first lady Laura Bush will join the U.S. Army Chorus, the Lone Star Wind Symphony Orchestra and the Turtle Creek Chorale on stage at the Meyerson Symphony Center for Made in America: The Best of American Composers. Bush is serving as the honorary chair for the evening celebrating those who serve to protect our freedom.

The U.S. Army Chorus first performed with the Chorale in 2009 in Dallas. They are the only remaining military service chorus in the U.S. The group of singing soldiers has made hundreds of appearances at the White House and has performed for every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The first half of the concert will focus on popular American composers and music from Broadway, jazz standards, traditional and pop music. The second half will feature American folk songs and showcase American patriotic music classics like “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful,” as well as modern patriotic songs like “American Anthem” and “I Was There.”

The finale of the concert will be a “service medley” where the anthems from each branch of the Armed Forces will be sung and members and veterans of those branches will be honored.

This is the first TCC concert conducted by Trey Jacobs since he was appointed permanent artistic director of the Chorale.

The concert takes place on May 24 at 8 p.m. at the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. Tickets are $20–65.

—  David Taffet

As Equality Texas unveils poll results on bullying, Rep. Anchia files gay adoption measure

State Rep. Rafael Anchia

Senior editor Tammye Nash is down in Austin this morning, where as we speak Equality Texas is holding a press conference to unveil poll results showing that 80 percent of Texans support anti-bullying legislation that protects gay teenagers and the children of gay parents. Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns is also there, and comments from former first lady Laura Bush will be shared. More on that here for now and later from Tammye.

But elsewhere on the legislative front this morning, it looks like State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, has again filed legislation that would allow same-sex adoptive parents to have both of their names listed on a child’s birth certificate. This issue has been the subject of litigation in Louisiana, where a federal appeals court recently ruled that the state must issue an amended birth certificate listing the names of both gay parents. The Louisiana attorney general is appealing the ruling, and the gay parents are represented by Ken Upton of Lambda Legal in Dallas, who tells us he’s also itching to challenge Texas’ statute if Anchia’s bill doesn’t pass.

Anchia’s HB 415, filed Friday and similar to a bill he filed last session, would strike language from the Health and Safety Code as shown below:

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—  John Wright

Joel Burns, Laura Bush join Equality Texas’ call for anti-bullying legislation

I was already planning to head to Austin on Monday to talk with Executive Director Dennis Coleman and Deputy Executive Director Chuck Smith at Equality Texas about the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature. Then Chuck told me that Equality Texas would be holding a press conference that same morning, and although he did not at first tell me what the press conference was about, I figured I had gotten lucky and could kill two birds with one stone.

Laura Bush

Then this afternoon, I got a press release in my e-mail inbox with a title that linked gay Fort Worth Councilman Joel Burns and Republican former First Lady Laura Bush and Equality Texas, and my interest level concerning this press conference went even higher.

Here’s what’s going on:

Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth and Rep. Mark Strama of Austin have already prefiled bills aimed at protecting children from bullying at school, and a scientific poll commissioned by Equality Texas shows that 80 percent of Texans support anti-bullying legislation. So Equality Texas is having a press conference Monday to talk about the problem of bullying, the results of the poll and what this legislation can do to address the problem.

Burns, who made headlines around the country in October with his emotional “It Gets Better” speech at a Fort Worth City Council meeting, will be there at the press conference to offer his perspective. And although the former first lady won’t be there in person, she is sending along a written statement expressing her support for the legislation.

I wish Mrs. Bush were going to be there in person, but having her written support is certainly better than nothing. And while some folks were disappointed that the campaign to get her to participate in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade fell through this year, I’d much rather have her speaking out against bullying than riding in a convertible down Cedar Springs.

The press conference is being held at 10 a.m. Monday in the Speaker’s Committee Room in the Texas Capitol.

—  admin

WATCH: Laura Bush speaks out against anti-gay bullying, says she’s proud of Joel Burns

Last week we noted that former first lady and Dallas resident Laura Bush, despite her stated support for equality for same-sex couples and her longtime focus on education, hadn’t said anything about the gay teen bullying and suicide crisis. Well who knows, maybe she was listening, because while Bush hasn’t yet made her own “It Gets Better” video, she did say this about the subject in an interview with ABC News (video above):

“Bullying in every kind, certainly gay teens, is really, really terrible, but any children, is terrible. And schools really need to make sure that bullying is not going on,” Bush says. “I was proud of the Fort Worth city councilmember [Joel Burns] that talked about it. I think that’s part of the ‘It’ll get better’ project. I think that’s what he said to children, to young gay teenagers is, ‘It will get better,’ and it’s really important for us to not allow bullying of any kind in schools.”

Coincidentally, Bush goes on to talk about a recent visit to North Dallas High School, which is where transgender student Andy Moreno was denied a chance to run for homecoming queen. Have a look.

—  John Wright

Laura Bush: It wasn’t my role to defend the gays

Laura Bush

Former first lady Laura Bush, who recently said she supports equality for same-sex couples, tells The Texas Tribune she didn’t speak out publicly about the issue while her husband was in office because she was not the elected official and it wasn’t her responsibility. In her recent book, Laura Bush said she asked George not to make gay marriage “a significant issue” and that she “could never have imagined what path this issue would take and where it would lead.” In the interview with the Tribune, she responds to criticism that she didn’t speak up publicly about the matter:

TT: … You found yourself back in the headlines not so long ago for taking positions on gay marriage and abortion that appeared to be at odds with your husband and with the GOP. What do you say to the critics who argue you had a responsibility to come forward sooner, or who suggest you maybe hid those opinions from view?

Bush: Well, I didn’t hide them from view. They were very well known from the first day George was elected, when Katie Couric asked me the question. I’m not elected. I was not elected. George is. He’s the one who’s elected. I was not the elected official. It was not my responsibility, I didn’t think, to speak out in ways to get in some sort of debate with him. I just didn’t see that as part of my role.

Apparently Bush still doesn’t see advocacy on behalf of the LGBT community as part of her role, because she ignored an invitation to attend Dallas’ gay Pride celebration this year. Meanwhile, despite her focus on education, Bush hasn’t said anything about the national teen bullying suicide crisis. Asked at the end of the TT interview about the governor’s race, Bush says, “Absolutely we’re supporting Gov. Perry.”

—  John Wright

Laura Bush Facebook campaign isn't creator's 1st good deed on behalf of gay community

David Ethridge
David Ethridge

OK, so we’re officially beating this Laura Bush Facebook gay Pride campaign to death. But since it continues to remain totally viral, I couldn’t resist sharing this note I received today from creator David Ethridge. Here’s what he said:

“More than anything, I created the page as an outlet for myself and a few friends (OK, and to partially justify my addiction to Facebook). It didn’t really occur to me that it would receive this much attention.

“If Mrs. Bush is really serious about being on the right side of history, and supporting marriage equality, I wanted to be the first to stretch out my hand and welcome her. Now it seems there are several hundred others lined up right behind me.”

Also, it occurred to me a while ago that this isn’t Ethridge’s first good deed on behalf of the LGBT community.  Back in October, Ethridge risked his life to help apprehend a suspect in a string of armed robberies in Oak Lawn. What next, Superman?

—  John Wright

FB campaign to bring Laura Bush to gay Pride makes headlines, grows to 600-plus members

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Since my initial post the other day, the Facebook campaign to bring former first lady Laura Bush to Dallas’ gay Pride celebration in September has quite simply exploded. The FB group now has more than 600 members, and the effort has been featured by several media outlets including but not limited to The Advocate, SheWired.com and The Dallas Morning News. The Voice’s own Chance Browning has uploaded the above photo to the FB page, with the caption “A little preview of what Laura might look like.” (Chance appears to be devoting his vacation to the effort this week.) I left a message yesterday for Laura’s publicist to find out whether there’s any chance she’ll come, but I haven’t heard back. I’ve also sent her a message on Twitter, so keep your fingers crossed.

—  John Wright

Facebook page aims to bring former first lady Laura Bush to Dallas' gay Pride parade in 2010

In the comments to my post about Laura Bush below, Terry B.H. points us to the Facebook page titled “Draft Laura Bush for Dallas Pride 2010.” The page, created by David Ethridge, already has 122 members. Here’s what it says:

During her recent book tour, former First Lady Laura Bush revealed that she supports marriage equality. While some have criticized Mrs. Bush for not speaking up sooner, if she is serious about standing up for what is right, we welcome her to the cause.

Let’s draft her as a guest of honor for the 2010 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade on Sunday, September 19, 2010 in Lee Park!

We’re guessing George won’t let Laura come, but we’ll try to get in touch with her publicist to get an answer one way or the other. Incidentally, the Rangers play at 3:10 p.m. that afternoon, so George will prolly be getting wasted in his man-cave anyway. We promise not to hurt her, W.

—  John Wright