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Florida governor
says GOP should back off marriage ban

Florida governor
says GOP should back off marriage ban

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Newly elected Republican governor Charlie Crist says the GOP should stop spending money on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Florida.

The Republican Party should stop spending money to advance a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Florida, says newly elected Republican governor Charlie Crist. "I just think that their money can be better spent on other things that may be more pressing, like elections," Crist told the St. Petersburgh Times. "The people care about issues like insurance premiums. They care about property taxes. They care about public safety."

According to the paper, Crist is known for pragmatism over ideology and a lack of enthusiasm for wedge issues. But he did express support for a measure banning same-sex marriage before being elected.

"He's certainly allowed to express his opinion," John Stemberger, an Orlando lawyer and chairman of the effort to amend Florida's constitution to ban same-sex marriage, told the Times. "I cannot imagine that he would reverse his position as a strong supporter of this effort. It's good policy for him, it's good politics, and it's a historical thing that's going to happen. It needs to happen."

As for Crist's opposition to party support for the amendment, Stemberger said, "I think he should reevaluate his position."

The Florida Coalition to Protect Marriage, a political committee, received $300,000 last year from the Republican Party of Florida, more than half of the marriage group's reported total. Jim Greer, Crist's handpicked choice to be chairman of the state Republican Party, said he has not yet decided whether to contribute any more party money to the effort. (The Advocate)

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