Just a few months ago, a member of the Bush clan was labeled the "gay-friendly" candidate for the Republican Party. But Jeb Bush has changed his gay marriage position once again, saying in a Sunday interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network's The Brody File that he didn't believe same-sex marriage was a constitutional right. Bush has yet to officially announce his bid for the White House, but he'll have to take on a more hard-lined position on the issue of gay marriage — and end his flip-flopping run — if the soon-to-be Republican presidential candidate wants to nab a victory.
In January, Bush said marriage equality should be a state's decision, but when host David Brody on Sunday asked him about whether same-sex marriage should be a constitutional right, the former Florida governor confronted the question headfirst and explicitly said no.
I don’t, but I’m not a lawyer, and clearly this has been accelerated at a warp pace. What’s interesting is four years ago, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had the same view that I just expressed to you. Thousands of years of culture and history is just being changed at warp speed. It’s hard to fathom why it is this way.
Bush continued on CBN by saying he interpreted the issue as a matter of the country’s future being at stake. He called for the preservation of traditional marriage as a means to preserve the country’s family system.
To imagine how we are going to succeed in our country unless we have committed family life, committed child-center family system, is hard to imagine. ... We need to be stalwart supports of traditional marriage.
He then went one step further Sunday, offering support for Christians' religious right to deny service to gays based on contradictions with their faith.
A big country, a tolerant country ought to be able to figure out the difference between discriminating someone because of their sexual orientation and not forcing someone to participate in a wedding that they find goes against their moral beliefs.
This Bush sounded drastically different than the Bush from earlier this year who urged people to show “respect" after a Florida state ruling allowed gay couples to wed. At the time, Bush did not necessarily abandon his Catholic point-of-view on marriage as a sacrament, but he did offer conciliatory words to the couples "making lifetime commitments to each other" in a statement.
We live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law. 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.
In 2013, Bush pushed back against the Republican Party being frequently labeled as "anti-gay," and has also said same-sex couples should not be “discriminated against.” He even spoke about his confidence in gay couples as loving and capable parents.
While this complete transformation from tolerant of gay marriage to adamantly against it may seem surprising, it’s important to note this is not the first time that Bush has radically adjusted his stance on the issue. Way back in 1994, for instance, when Bush was running for governor of Florida, he was vehemently against gay rights and went so far as to say LGBT individuals did not deserve special legal protection, going on to draw a parallel between sodomy and gay rights:
[Should] sodomy be elevated to the same constitutional status as race and religion? My answer is no.
While Bush’s stance is entirely up to him, he'd better decide fast. Because as much as Democrats and Republicans might disagree on the issues, there’s one thing most everyone agrees upon: No one likes a flip-flopper.
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