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Jeb Bush Says Gay Marriage Should Not Be Something for Courts to Decide

With Florida on the cusp of same-sex marriage being legalized, in-all-probability-going-to-run-for-president-in-2016 Jeb Bush has come out and said he's not necessarily in agreement with the law being decided on by a judge.

Briefly stopping from a round of golf on Sunday, Bush told the Miami Herald that gay marriage should be a local, state decision. Referring to when voters shot down gay marriage in 2008, Bush said, "It ought be a local decision. I mean, a state decision.

"The state decided. The people of the state decided," Bush added. "But it's been overturned by the courts, I guess."

See also: Jeb Bush Comes Out Against Medical Marijuana

It's not the first time Bush has said gay marriages should be decided on a state-by-state basis. In 2013, Jeb told NewsMax that gay marriage is something that shouldn't be decided at the federal level.

"Our federal system is a spectacular way to deal with changing mores -- and states can take advantage of opportunities much better than federal government," he said. "This could be a place where the states play a role, as is the case right now."

Bush did take his usual pragmatic stance on the issue, however, saying, "When we talk about it, we ought to talk about it with a different tone -- and we ought to talk about it recognizing that there is more than one point of view, and we should talk about it in a way that is not judgmental."

The balanced take echoed what he told Republicans in a CPAC speech in 2013, when he pleaded with the party to start becoming more inclusive, if for nothing else than to expand the party's reach.

"Never again, never again can the Republican Party simply write off certain segments of the society because we assume our principles have limited appeal," he said in the speech. "They have broader appeal."

Jeb's term as governor of Florida ended a year before the issue of gay marriage was put on the ballot on 2008. But he did voice his opinion then, saying there was no need for the law to be changed since Florida's marriage laws had pretty much been set in place to favor heterosexual couples anyway.

Bush has made it publicly known he's a supporter of traditional marriage and has often said courts should not decide the issue.

However, he has also come out and said that same-sex parents should be held up as an example for others, despite his own personal beliefs.

In an interview with Charlie Rose in 2012, Bush said: "I don't think people need to be discriminated against because they don't share my belief on this, and if people love their children with all their heart and soul and that's what they do and that's how they organize their life, that should be held up as examples for others to follow, because we need it. We desperately need it, and that can take all sorts of forms; it doesn't have to take the one that I think should be sanctioned under the law."

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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