Jeb Bush told gay friend that his relationship wasn't deserving of marriage

Wed. August 26, 2015 12:06 PM by

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush told a gay friend in 2004 that his relationship wasn't deserving of marriage.

The revelation comes in a just-published e-book titled Reply All: A Governor's Story 1999-2007 about email exchanges Bush had while governor of Florida.

Xavier Cortada, an artist, wrote to Bush about his support for a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

"Today, I am feeling particularly denied and particularly unequal," Cortada wrote. "My life partner, Juan Carlos, and I have been together for eight years and are being denied rights afforded to others who can legally marry.Worst, I feel suffocated – living in a society where liberty evaporates with every attack on people who happen to be gay – and I see it can only get worse as this debate rages on. The problem is not just the homophobia and violence (remember Matthew Shepard?) that this marginalization generates, but also the image that is generated in society at large: Gays and lesbians as second class citizens. For our beloved Country this would mean that 'all are equal, but some are more equal than others.' Nothing can be more threatening to a democracy."

In his reply, Bush advised his friend that he could make his relationship more permanent through other legal means than marriage.

"Thank you for writing and I apologize for not responding earlier," Bush wrote. "The tyranny of the present has gotten me!"

"I am sensitive to your point of view but respectfully disagree. If there is discrimination, there are remedies. The cases of violence against gay and lesbians are unconscionable and the laws in Florida exist to bring justice. Your relationship with Juan Carlos can be made more permanent through contractual obligations that set forth asset disposition and other issues. However, I don't believe that your relationship should be afforded the same status in the law as a man and a woman agreeing to marriage. The institution of marriage is under attack in our society and it needs to be strengthened. This does not have to be at the expense of other kinds of relationships but in support of the most important institution in our society."


Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine