Having left the GOP behind him, Florida Governor Charlie Crist has come out in favor of allowing gay people to adopt.

In a videotaped interview with Time magazine released Thursday, Crist said he now believes judges should be allowed to decide whether gay men or lesbians can adopt. Florida is the only state in the nation that bans gay men and lesbians from adopting children outright.

“I think probably the best decision maker would be a judge,” Crist said. “Currently, we have a law on the books in Florida though that precludes that from happening. I'm sure that a future Legislature and maybe the next governor might address that issue.”

During a four city media tour last year to promote adoption, the governor hinted that he had softened his stance on the issue when he told reporters that he would need to “think about” supporting legislation that lifts the ban.

But the bill, sponsored by Representative Mary Brandenburg of West Palm Beach and Senator Nan Rich of Weston, eventually stalled out in the Florida Legislature.

The 33-year-old law faces a serious challenge in the courts. The state has appealed a 2008 ruling that found the ban to be unconstitutional and to have “no rational basis.” The Third District Court of Appeals is expected to hand down a ruling any day now.

Crist left the Republican party to run as an independent for the U.S. Senate.

The governor, who's been the subject of numerous gay rumors himself, also said Thursday that he supports government recognition of gay couples with civil unions, not marriage.