Possible presidential candidate Jeb Bush said he did not believe in constitutional protection for gay marriages in an interview with The Christian Broadcasting Network that aired on Sunday.
The Republican former governor of Florida told CBN’s David Brody, the gay marriage question “has been accelerated at a warp pace” and that “four years ago, [Democrats] Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had the same view that I just expressed to you.”
Same-sex marriage is recognized by the US federal government and authorized in 37 states. 13 states ban gay marriage, eight of which are appealing overturned gay marriage bans.
The US Supreme Court is expected to make a landmark ruling in late June to decide whether a state may refuse to licence same-sex marriages and whether it may refuse to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions.
Bush argued that “[traditional marriage] is at the core of the Catholic faith” and that it was hard to imagine succeeding in America “unless we have committed family life, a committed child-centered family system.”
“So irrespective of the Supreme Court ruling because they are going to decide whatever they decide - I don’t know what they are going to do - we need to be stalwart supporters of traditional marriage,” he added.
At an event in Puerto Rico on April 28, Bush said he hadn’t attended any gay weddings but “that’s not to say I wouldn’t.”
“I hope that we can show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue - including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty,” he said in a January statement.
While Bush was shrewd enough to assuage all parties in January, his newest comments on “The Brody File” are bound to ruffle some feathers.
In addition to commenting, “We have to restore committed, loving family life with a mom and dad loving their children with their heart and soul” which implicitly suggests that such a life is not possible outside traditional marriage, Bush also told Brody that Christian business owners should be able to refuse to provide services to same-sex couples “if it’s based on a religious belief.”
He defended such a refusal would not be discriminatory because it would be a decision based on moral beliefs and not sexual orientation. “A big country, a tolerant country, ought to be able to figure out the difference,” he said.