President Ford endorsed "gay equality before the law" in 2003
[Note: On December 27, 2006, after learning of the death of President Ford, gay Republican activist Charles Francis released a copy of a letter the former president had sent him in 2003 expressing support for gay legal equality, although Ford declined to sign an op-ed piece that Francis had proposed. Francis states: "I was co-chair of the Republican Unity Coalition, RUC, at the time. President Ford served on our Advisory Board. The RUC was a gay/straight alliance inside the Republican Party. Now, it is an organization on hold until we see how the Republican Party continues to evolve ... or not."]
March 6, 2003
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 York Times. Several months ago I did an op-ed piece for
the New York Times on 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.
I hope you understand. Keep me posted.
Warmest, best wishes,
Gerald R. Ford
Mr. Charles Francis
Post Office Box 19206
Washington, D.C. 20036-9206