TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The former governor of Florida has issued an apology for opposing same-sex ‘marriage’ in the state, calling his past beliefs a ‘mistake.’
Charlie Crist served as governor from 2007 to 2011 after taking over the office from Jeb Bush. In 2008, he expressed his support for a state constitutional amendment that enshrined marriage as being between a man and a woman.
“I’ll support it, I’ll vote for it, move on,” Crist told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel at the time. “It’s not top-tier for me, put it that way.”
“Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized,” the amendment read, which passed during the November 2008 election 61 to 38 percent.
In 2010, Crist reiterated his beliefs about marriage to CNN, but also advised that he did not have an issue with homosexual cohabitation.
“I feel that marriage is a sacred institution, if you will,” he outlined. “But I do believe in tolerance. I’m a live and let live kind of guy, and while I feel that way about marriage, I think if partners want to have the opportunity to live together, I don’t have a problem with that.”
However, in an interview published this week by Watermark Online, Crist stated that he is now regretful of supporting Florida’s marriage amendment.
“I made a mistake,” he told the homosexual advocacy publication. “I’m not perfect … and I’m sincerely sorry. I understand when it’s necessary to say I was wrong.”
Crist stated that he was influenced to change his mind after listening to statements made by Barack Obama on the issue. Crist, who identified as Republican during his gubernatorial tenure, has now also switched his party affiliation to Democratic. He told reporters that he made the change as his beliefs no longer aligned with the Republican Party.
“As a Republican, on social issues I always felt I was a round peg in a square hole. I just didn’t fit,” Crist explained. “But I tried until I couldn’t do it any more … until I had to say, ‘Enough is enough.’”
“Everybody deserves to love who they want to. Everybody deserves to marry who they want to,” he asserted. “Even the Pope has said, ‘Who am I to judge.’”
However, some have spoken in disapproval of Crist, who is now running for his old seat as governor, for backing down on the definition of marriage.
“He doesn’t have any real convictions or morals,” one commenter opined. “He allows his beliefs about human rights to be shaped by those around him, which makes him a follower, not a leader.”
“So, was he doing the politically expedient thing then? Or is he doing the politically expedient thing now?” another asked.
Crist attends First Methodist Church of St. Petersburg, Florida, where he has been a member for a number of years.