Bush Gals to See Gay Vows

New York Daily News – Bush gals to see gay vows

When Washington-area beautician Erwin Gomez and his longtime partner James Packard celebrate their marital vows with 400 of their closest friends next month, two of Gomez’s best customers will probably be in attendance: President Bush’s twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara. Yesterday, the 39-year-old Gomez – a makeup expert for the Elizabeth Arden shop in the D.C. suburb of Chevy Chase, Md. – told Lowdown that the First Twins have become devotees of his popular eyebrow waxes over the past few weeks. And, Gomez added, Bush’s daughters have expressed an enthusiastic desire to go to Gomez and Packard’s Sept. 11 wedding celebration at their home in Laytonsville, Md. “I gave them the party invitation, and they said, ‘That sounds great, we’d love to come – it sounds like a lot of fun,'” Gomez said. “The way they reacted, they were very open-minded.”

Never mind that their father supports a constitutional ban of gay marriages. Heterosexual marriage, Bush said in February, is “the most enduring human institution” and “cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society.” While Gomez holds the hard-carousing girls in high regard (“so casual and so real”), his disgust for their father’s politics is obvious. “I think it’s wrong – he has no right to touch that,” he said. “He’s trying to change the freedom of America. … History is repeating itself, just like blacks and Jews were discriminated against.”

Gomez and Packard were “wed” last spring in San Francisco after Mayor Gavin Newsome issued them and scores of others a marriage license. But the legality of such unions has been in question since the California Supreme Court last week declared that Newsome exceeded his authority in sanctioning gay marriages.

So far as I know, President Bush hasn’t come out against two guys having a party celebrating a “marriage” that isn’t sanctioned by the state. To some extent, I understand Gomez’ anger, but the idea that Bush has “changed the freedom of America” by advocating the retention of the status quo continues to baffle me. This is especially so given that John Kerry has also come out publically against gay marriage. If someone wants to vote for Kerry over Bush on the rather narrow grounds that the latter supports an amendment that isn’t going to pass while the former opposes said amendment even though advocating the same result, it’s certainly their right. It seems like rather thin gruel, though.

The Bush girls are emblematic of the reality, anyway. Regardless of what happens in the courts, gay marriage will be seen as “no big deal” rather soon. When I was growing up, not all that long ago [Isn’t your 20th high school reunion coming up? -ed. Never mind.] homosexuality was a very taboo thing indeed, or the subject of comic treatment. Remember Three’s Company? [Isn’t that on TV Land? -ed.] Homosexuality is rather mainstream now and anyone under, say, 40 is at the very least resigned to the idea that the phenomenon exists. Religious opposition will contine, certainly, but it won’t prevail for much longer.

Update: As Kevin notes in the comments, the legality of the Gomez-Packard union is not at all in question: It’s been invalidated.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    Nice bit of soft-pedaling in the Daily News article:

    But the legality of such unions has been in question since the California Supreme Court last week declared that Newsome exceeded his authority in sanctioning gay marriages.

    No, the legality is not in question: the California Supreme Court ruled that the “marriages” sanctioned by Newsom are invalid.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Yep–I meant to mention that 😉