Tags: Gay Marriage | Florida | Jeb Bush | ACLU

Jeb Bush: Same-Sex Marriage 'Ought to Be a State Decision'

Image: Jeb Bush: Same-Sex Marriage 'Ought to Be a State Decision'
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Monday, 05 Jan 2015 09:50 AM

Potential presidential contender Jeb Bush has come under fire from a gay-rights group after comments he made over the weekend that appeared to support Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage.

“It ought to be a local decision. I mean, a state decision,” the former GOP governor told the Miami Herald on Sunday. “The state decided. The people of the state decided. But it’s been overturned by the (federal) courts, I guess.”

Howard Simon, the director of the Florida American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing a gay couple in a federal case against Florida’s same-sex marriage amendment of 2008, quickly slammed Bush’s remarks, saying they embrace discrimination against gay couples.

“So the people should have the right to enact a discriminatory law?” said Simon, “that sounds like what he was saying. That unfortunately is consistent from what I remember about Jeb Bush’s tenure as governor.”

Federal judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee has ruled that Florida’s marriage amendment violated the constitutional rights of same-sex couples.

Hinkle stayed his own ruling until today to allow for appeals, while a federal appeals court and the U.S. Supreme Court turned down requests from Florida’s attorney general to extend the stay until the appeal is heard, according to the Herald.

On New Year’s Day, Hinkle told Florida court clerks that they would be violating the U.S. Constitution if they did not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples when his order takes effect on Tuesday.

Although Bush is seen in some polls as the frontrunner in the GOP race for the White House, he faces stiff opposition from those who feel he is not conservative enough for the nomination. And his supposedly weak stance against same-sex marriage can only enhance his reputation as a moderate, the Herald reported.

During his tenure as governor that ended in 2007, Bush said he was anti-gay marriage. But he failed to openly endorse the state’s same-sex marriage amendment in 2008, saying that the Florida Constitution already defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

In an interview in 2012 with PBS, he angered conservatives even further by suggesting that gay parents could be regarded as role models, even though he also declared that “traditional marriage is what should be sanctioned” by the government.

He hold host Charlie Rose: “If people love their children with all their heart and soul and that’s what they do and that’s how they organize their life, that should be held up as an example to others, because we need it.”

And during a speech to a Republican group last year, Bush cautioned that the GOP should not be seen as a party that opposes every change, including being viewed as “anti-gay.”

Miami-Dade County was planning to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples today, with the rest of the state following on Tuesday, according to the Herald, which noted that the city’s Republican mayor has backed the move to overturn the state’s amendment banning same-sex marriages.

Michael Hernández, communications chief for Mayor Carlos Gimenez, said: “Mayor Gimenez supports the recent court rulings. He believes adults should be free to marry whomever they desire. He respects anyone’s right to marry, gay or straight.”

Gimenez has previously endorsed transgender safeguards in Miami-Dade, and he received the support of the county’s top gay-rights group when he ran for mayor in 2011, the newspaper reported.

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Potential presidential contender Jeb Bush has come under fire from a gay-rights group after comments he made over the weekend that appeared to support Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Florida, Jeb Bush, ACLU
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2015-50-05
Monday, 05 Jan 2015 09:50 AM
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