Former president Jimmy Carter says he supports marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples because Jesus would.

The one-term Democratic president is currently pitching his latest book A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety.

In an interview with The Oregonian, Carter, an ordained Baptist minister, was asked about his support.

“I grew up in the little town of Plains and still live there,” Carter answered. “We've had a number of gay people who've lived there openly and I don't ever remember where there was ever any discrimination or any condemnation of them because they were gay.”

“I teach Sunday school every Sunday at our local church when I'm home and I was asked if I thought Jesus Christ would approve of gay marriage and I said yes because Jesus' name is most closely associated with love and if two people love each other, no matter what their sex might be or who they're married to, it would be OK,” he added.