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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Deb Price Interview with Gerald Ford

Deb Price interviewed Gerald Ford and published her interview in her Detroit news column on October 21, 2001. Page One Q reprints the column:

Former President Gerald Ford believes the federal government should treat
gay couples the same as married couples, including providing equal Social Security and tax benefits. Ford's views, expressed in an exclusive telephone interview, make him the highest-ranking Republican ever to endorse equal treatment for gay couples. "I think they ought to be treated equally. Period," Ford declared. Asked specifically whether gay couples should get the same Social Security, tax and other federal benefits as married couples, he replied, "I don't see why they shouldn't. I think that's a proper goal."

Now 88, Ford was a longtime Michigan congressman and Republican leader of the U.S. House before being appointed vice president and then rising to the presidency in 1974 after Richard Nixon's resignation. From his office in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Ford comfortably discussed a range of gay issues. He said he supports federal legislation to outlaw anti-gay job discrimination: "That is a step in the right direction. I have a longstanding record in favor of legislation to do away with discrimination."

President Ford also served on the Advisory Committee of the Republican Unity Coalition - an organization committed to making being gay a non-issue in Republican Politics.