Some may still consider Jeb Bush one of the more centrist of the potential Republican presidential contenders, but in an appearance on the Christian Broadcasting Network Sunday, he took a hard-right stance on LGBT issues.
Specifically, on The Brody File, Bush told host David Brody that he doesn’t think same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, and that he supports the right of wedding-related businesses to discriminate against these couples in the name of “religious freedom.”
The former Florida governor, son and brother of a president, said he’s “concerned” about the issue of marriage.
“How we are going to succeed in our country unless we have committed family life, committed child-centered family system, is hard to imagine. So, irrespective of the Supreme Court ruling, because they are going to decide whatever they decide, I don’t know what they are going to do, we need to be stalwart supporters of traditional marriage. … We have to restore committed, loving family life with a mom and dad loving their children with their heart and soul.”
He added, “Four years ago, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had the same view that I just expressed to you. It’s thousands of years of culture and history is just being changed at warp speed. It’s hard to fathom why it is this way.”
While it's true that Barack Obama didn't publicly announce his personal support for marriage equality until 2012, with Clinton following suit in 2013, both Democrats had taken decidedly more supportive stances toward LGBT equality in general than Bush has expressed.
On so-called right to discriminate legislation, Bush told Brody, “A big country, a tolerant country ought to be able to figure out the difference between discriminating [against] someone because of their sexual orientation and not forcing someone to participate in a wedding that they find goes against their moral beliefs. We should be able to figure this out. This should not be that complicated — gosh, it is right now.” Bush also exaggerated the potential financial penalty in discrimination claims against a Washington State florist, as The New Civil Rights Movement points out.
In an online commentary, Brody noted that Bush, who has yet to formally declare his candidacy, “is a thinker/public policy wonk. He isn’t going to be the fire and brimstone candidate that goes for the applause lines or starts talking about Jesus at campaign events.” But, Brody continued, “Jeb Bush’s record as Florida Governor reads like a social conservative’s dream scorecard. He championed pro-life causes like a late term abortion ban, parental notification laws, and fought against those who wanted to pull the plug on brain-damaged heroine Terri Schiavo. He also championed school choice and tried to protect prayers at public school events. It’s that Jeb Bush that social conservative voters want to see emerge in 2016.”
Watch the interview below.