Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More on Betty Ford (by res ipsa)

As a follow-up to Saturday's post about Betty Ford, here is an interesting opinion about Ford from yesterday's NYT by Nixonland author Rick Perlstein. In it, the reader learns not only that Betty and Gerald Ford once owned (and presumably played) "The Women's Liberation Board Game," but also that Betty Ford had a following among gay men. Perlstein speculates that the letters from gay men he read at a Ford family estate sale after President Ford's death must have been prompted by remarks Betty Ford made on gay rights at some point. So in addition to abortion, sex, infidelity, addiction, cancer, and the Equal Rights Amendment, a first lady addressed some topic of importance to gay men. Watergate, gas lines, and bad music notwithstanding, the Seventies weren't all bad.

I wonder what Betty Ford would have thought of New York's new marriage equality law -- and marriage equality in general?