Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) doesn’t seem like he’s going to tack to the far right as he moves forward with a potential presidential campaign.
In a statement released late Monday afternoon, Bush reacted to his home state allowing same-sex marriages by sympathizing with the gay couples “who are seeking greater legal protections,” according to The New York Times.
“We live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law,” Bush said. “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.”
In a line that appears to reiterate his opposition to same-sex marriage, Bush also urged respect for “those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty.”
According to NBC News, a judge ruled Monday that Florida’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. The state will become the 36th to legalise same-sex marriages.
Although some hailed Bush’s mild statement as a step forward for Republicans who do not wish to prioritise social issues in the national political debate, Florida’s Democratic Party announced it was not impressed.
“Jeb Bush remains as out of touch as ever with Floridians and voters nationwide on the civil rights issue of our time,” the party’s chair, Allison Tant, said in a statement. “Bush championed these discriminatory policies as governor, and it’s a shame that he remains determined to stand for the forces of bigotry.”
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