Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie
Crist credits President Barack Obama for the nation's increasing
support for gay marriage.
In a wide-ranging interview with the
Crist was asked whether he would continue defending the state's ban
in court, if elected in November.
“No,” Crist answered. “I don't
think the state or government has a role in telling people who to
love or who to marry. I know the Attorney General has been in on
that fight and I hope we have a new Attorney General after Nov. 4.
Our society has moved rapidly in this area. I have. The president
of the United States has. A lot of the credit in the change in
society’s view in gay rights should go to President Obama. When he
did an interview with Robin Roberts a couple of springs ago, he said
that he had been thinking about this issue, that he had talked to his
wife about this issue and eventually came to the conclusion, 'Who am
I to tell people who to love, or frankly, who to marry?' Why would I
want to do that?”
As a Republican in 2008, Crist
supported the state's ban. Today he calls that a “mistake.”
“It was a mistake. But I'm an older,
wiser man now. And I'm willing to continue to listen and be
open-minded. If you believe the same things today that you did when
you were in high school, I don't know if that's a very bright human
being or very enlightened person. I think you have to have the
wisdom to understand that things change, facts and circumstances
change, and hopefully you gain more wisdom over time,” he said.