Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Friday said that a Supreme Court ruling striking down state bans on gay marriage would not end the debate.

The nation's highest court heard arguments in a case challenging bans in Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky on April 28. A ruling, which could lead to nationwide marriage equality, is expected before the end of the month.

Speaking to social conservatives gathered at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority conference, Bush said that he wanted the debate to continue.

“It's got to be important over the long haul, irrespective of what the courts say,” said Bush, the former governor of Florida.

Bush went on to suggest that allowing gay couples to marry deprives children of being raised in a heterosexual household.

“In a country like ours we should recognize the power of a man and a woman loving their children with all their heart and soul as a good thing, as something that is positive and helpful for those children to live a successful life,” he said.