Children of Politicians: Barbara Bush's Support of Gay Marriage

6 years ago
Barbara Bush recently made a PSA stating her support of same-sex marriage. Considering her father, President George W. Bush, was and remains a known opponent of gay marriage, it was a bold, gutsy and admirable move by the former First Daughter. We might all be able to learn a little something about standing up for what we believe in from Barbara and other President's kids.

Audio: “I am Barbara Bush, and I am a New Yorker for marriage equality. New York is about fairness and equality. And everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love. Join us.”

Her support is not overly surprising as Barbara has shown that her political beliefs aren't exactly in line with her dad's in the past. She supported Obama's Health Care plan. More over, she attended a fundraiser last September for the pro-freedom to marry American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) in New York City.

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: Barbara Bush speaks during the annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) September 22, 2010 in New York City. The sixth annual meeting of the CGI gathers prominent individuals in politics, business, science, academics, religion and entertainment to discuss global issues such as climate change and the reconstruction of Haiti. The event, founded by former U.S. President Bill Clinton after he left office, is held the same week as the General Assembly at the United Nations, when most world leaders are in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Of course, Barbara Bush isn't the first political child to come out and support something that was in rather stark contrast to that of their parents. In fact, there must be something about being the child of a President that makes children more likely to go the other way.

Take for example Patti Davis, President Reagan's daughter who uses her mom Nancy's maiden name. She was "the most rebellious of the three kids -- she was vocally pro-choice, anti-nuke and even posed nude for Playboy."

And then there's Julie Nixon Eisenhower, youngest of Nixon's daughters, who -- gasp --
supported Obama in 2008.

So, it's not really like Barbara Bush is the first to do something or support something that her political parent(s) wouldn't have or might not approve of. In fact, I found it more shocking (in a good way) Laura Bush, G-Dub's wife, supported equal rights for same sex partners. And then there was the mother-daughter pairing of Cindy and Meghan McCain for the NOH8 campaign.

Barbara's PSA has made some waves in the blogosphere, of course. All sorts of various topics are being discussed regarding her support.

All of this talk about Barbara Bush disagreeing with her dad -- or, as politics and presidencies are involved, "dissenting" from the Republican party -- got me thinking. How many times have I (or you) blogged about something -- political or otherwise -- that my parents, in-laws, friends or other relatives totally disagreed with? Or, have we shied away as bloggers from writing about something we're passionate about because our mom reads? Or grandma? Or sister-in-law? Or Crazy Aunt Betty?

During the 2008 Presidential Election, I regularly received forwards about politics from various members of my family, both the one I was born into and the one I married into. I hold different political beliefs than both sets of family members, save for a (blessed!) few. I deleted them all, but they just kept coming. Eventually, I posted a banner on my blog for the candidate whom I was supporting and, later in the election process, shared a post or three as to why we were voting that way. It took a few days but the emails stopped coming. Glory Hallelujah! I simply could have asked for them to stop coming, but the round-about-blog-it way was far less confrontational.

Maybe we can all learn a thing or two from Barbara and her other political child predecessors. Maybe it's not easy to stand up for what you believe in to the family members you have been dealt. But if a 29-year-old woman can stand up to her father, a President, well certainly you can tell your sister or father-in-law or cousin that you hold different beliefs and that it's okay to do so. Politely, of course.

Have you ever blogged something that your family members didn't like or agree with? Do you feel a bit more encouraged to do so now? And hey, let's give Barbara a big hand while we're at it. Whatever your beliefs, that took some guts!

Contributing Editor Jenna Hatfield (@FireMom) blogs at Stop, Drop and Blog and The Chronicles of Munchkin Land. She is a freelance writer and photographer.

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