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Former Florida Governor Says Backing Gay Marriage Ban Was “Mistake”

Charlie Crist, the former governor of Florida, apologized on Tuesday for backing a bill that would ban gay marriage in 2008.

“I’m sorry I did that. It was a mistake. I was wrong. Please forgive me,” Crist told the LGBT publication Watermark Online in his first interview with a group of the LGBT press.

The former Republican, now a Democrat, admitted that his previous stance on gay marriage was “politically expedient,” adding that “it was wrong. That’s what I’m telling you. And I’m sorry.”

“”The examples you cited were examples of me trying to be a good Republican. I couldn’t do it anymore, and I’m sorry I did,” Crist said in the interview. “I made a mistake. I’m not perfect … please don’t hold me to that standard. And I’m sincerely sorry. I understand when it’s necessary to say I was wrong. That‘s the journey I’m on … and I’m still on it.”

Crist supported Amendment 2, which served to ban gay marriage in the Florida constitution, and at the time announced, “It’s what I believe in.” Despite that, a year prior, Crist had said he maintained a “live and let live” approach and that gay marriage was “not an issue that moves me.”

Florida Democrats have expressed skepticism toward Crist as he pursues governorship against incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott. “I don’t trust him, he’s an opportunist,” said Wendy Sejour, Precinct Committeewoman for precinct 909 in Miami-Dade. “I mean he switches party affiliations at the drop of a hat. He hasn’t really espoused any great change in political philosophy. It’s just that it’s more expedient for him to change now and I just don’t feel it’s appropriate to have a Republican at the top of the Democratic party which is what he will be when he becomes the nominee.”

Photo Credit: Watermark Online

About the author

Gary Bryan is an industrial marketing manager by daytime and political and social issues writer by night. You can also find his editorials at Mic.com.