Fans called a penalty over the image of LGBTQ trailblazer Ellen DeGeneres yukking it up with former President George W. Bush at a weekend football game.
The pair ended up sitting alongside one another in a VIP suite at a Dallas Cowboys game. Flanked by their respective spouses, former First Lady Laura Bush and actress Portia de Rossi, the president and the comedian seemed to chuckle over small talk during the game.
But many found no reason for laughter.
“I feel like you shouldn’t need a flow chart to help you decide whether to go to a game as a war criminal’s guest,” wrote Media Matters editor at large Parker Molloy on Twitter. “There’s “hey, it took such and such politician a long time to come around on this” and then there’s “HEY, WE NEED TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION TO EXPLICITLY DENY YOU RIGHTS.”
Bush campaigned for reelection in 2004 largely on a promise for a constitutional amendment prohibiting marriage equality. He pushed for such a change in his State of the Union address shortly after winning a second term.
Such an amendment never came to pass, and in 2015, the Supreme Court through a 5-4 decision made marriage equality to law of the land in all 50 states.
That also validated DeGeneres’s 2008 marriage to de Rossi, one of many marriages absolutely put at risk by homophobes trying to outlaw same-sex unions. So maybe that’s what DeGeneres was wisecracking about?
Still, that Bush was so opposed to equality he used lesbian nuptials as a wedge issue in a national campaign — despite his own vice president opposing the move — left many LGBTQ observers online bitter.
“Bush is a homophobe and a mass murderer. Ellen is billionaire trash,” wrote The Humanist Report.
“Hey @TheEllenShow - how does it feel to watch a game with a mass murdering genocidal war criminal?” wrote documentarian Josh Fox.
The Supreme Court is about to decide whether it’s legal to fire people just because they’re LGBT,” wrote Raphael Bob-Waksberg. “I hope Ellen enjoyed her football game with the guy who put Roberts and Alito on that court. Bygones! (He also personally campaigned to get Kavanaugh appointed.)”
“Ellen opened so many doors for lesbians like being on tv and dancing on tv and being pals with war criminals and,” wrote comedian DeAnne Smith.