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Gerald Ford
supported gays and the end of sodomy laws

Gerald Ford
supported gays and the end of sodomy laws

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In a 2003 letter obtained exclusively by TheAdvocate, the late president Gerald Ford (pictured) wrote to his friend and colleague Charles Francis that he supported the pro-gay side in the Texas case that ultimately led the U.S. Supreme Court to abolish sodomy laws nationwide.

In a 2003 letter obtained exclusively by TheAdvocate, the late president Gerald Ford wrote to his friend and colleague Charles Francis that he supported the pro-gay side in the Texas case that ultimately led the U.S. Supreme Court to abolish sodomy laws nationwide. The letter was in response to a request by Francis, cochair of the gay-inclusive GOP group Republican Unity Coalition--which Ford advised--asking Ford to sign an op-ed piece calling for an end to sodomy laws.

"Dear Charles," Ford wrote, "I thank you for your letter of March 3 with enclosures. I deeply appreciate Senator Alan Simpson's personal comments on the Supreme Court case and his public support. I fully concur with Al and you on 'gay equality before the law.' I sincerely hope that you prevail in the case of Lawrence v. Texas. At this point, however, I am not signing the proposed op-ed piece for The New YorkTimes. Several months ago I did an op-ed piece for The New York Times in the University of Michigan cases on student admission policies. Subsequently I joined with several others publicly supporting the university's position. I feel that it might be unwise to dilute my influence on the Michigan case by authorizing an op-ed piece. The same dilution would be true if I became active in the Texas lawsuit."

Ford, who died Tuesday night at the age of 93, joined the Republican Unity Coalition in 2002 as a member of the organization's advisory board. The coalition is a fund-raising group dedicated to making homosexuality a "nonissue" for the Republican Party.

"I have always believed in an inclusive policy, in welcoming gays and others into the party," Ford told The Detroit News in 2001. "I think the party has to have an umbrella philosophy if it expects to win elections."

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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