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Reagan’s daughter says he would not have opposed gay marriage

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The daughter of former President Ronald Reagan said this week that her father would not have stood in front of same-sex marriage, saying that opposing it would have clashed against his governing philosophy.

"I think he would be puzzled on the one hand at why anyone would have a problem with people wanting to be married and wanting to be committed to one another and what difference does not make to anyone else's life," Patti Davis told the website Gwist TV, which bills itself as the "first online network that's not about being gay but for being gay."

"I also think because he wanted government out of people's lives that he would not understand the intrusion of government banning such a thing. This is not what he would have thought government should be doing," Ms. Davis said.

The youngest daughter of Mr. Reagan and his second wife, former first lady Nancy Reagan, Ms. Davis is an actress and author who has been dubbed the "black sheep" of the family.

She made the comments while promoting her new e-book "Till Human Voices Wake Us," which has been billed as a lesbian love story.

The comments come as the Supreme Court weighs the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, a voter referendum that banned same-sex marriage, and the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which former President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1996.

Republicans Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Mark Kirk of Illinois have come out in support of same-sex marriage in recent weeks.

The Republican National Committee, meanwhile, has said the GOP must have bolster its outreach efforts to the gay community in the wake of the 2012 election, and Ed Gillespie, former RNC chief and ex-aid to former President George W. Bush, has said that it is possible the party will consider stripping calls for a federal marriage amendment — defining marriage between one man and one woman — from the party's platform.

In her interview, Ms. Davis said that many people have wrongly tried to claim the Reagan legacy.

"I think people have chosen my father to chose and mold him into whatever they want him to be. He was a very tolerant person. He did not have prejudices against gay people," she said.

Meanwhile, Michael Reagan, the ex-president's eldest son from a previous marriage, wrote an op-ed last week calling on churches to be more vocal in their opposition of same-sex marriage.

"Churches should be in the vanguard of the fight to defend the culture against legalized gay marriage, not hiding in their pews," he said.

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