Charlie Crist apologizes for supporting efforts to ban same-sex marriage in Fla.
By LISA KEEN | Keen News Service
In an extraordinary interview, Florida’s former Republican Governor Charlie Crist has apologized for having supported efforts to ban on same-sex marriage on the ballot in that state in 2008.
“I’m sorry I did that. It was a mistake. I was wrong. Please forgive,” said Crist, in an interview with Watermark, an LGBT news organization in Florida.
Crist was the Republican governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011. Crist is currently running for the Democratic nomination for governor, saying that his former political party “went nuts.”
However, Watermark publisher Tom Dyer, who conducted the interview December 17, didn’t let Crist off the hook. He noted Crist also supported limiting marriage to heterosexual couples when Crist ran for senator in 2006 and that he expressed a belief that children who need to be adopted would be best off in “traditional” heterosexual homes.
“When you look back at the circumstances, one could come to the conclusion that your shifts in opinion were either politically expedient…” said Dyer.
“They were. They were. And it was wrong,” said Crist, interrupting. “That’s what I’m telling you. And I’m sorry.”
Nadine Smith, chief executive officer of Equality Florida, said she was “glad to see someone who has done harm publicly pledge to work to repair the damage.”
“My activism is based on the premise that people can and do change,” said Smith, who has been an LGBT activist for many years. “I’m particularly proud of Tom Dyer the publisher of Watermark for pulling no punches and really zeroing in on the issues. He asked the questions that needed to be asked and that we deserved to have publicly and thoroughly answered. I can’t recall the last time I’ve heard a politician say ‘I was wrong. I am sorry’.”
Crist told Dyer his earlier positions were “examples of me trying to be a good Republican.”
“I couldn’t do it anymore and I’m sorry I did,” said Crist. “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.”
“Can you convince us that your present views aren’t once again driven by political expediency?” asked Dyer. “Can you convince us that the positions you’ve recently expressed are heartfelt, and something we can count on in the future?”
“I just did,” said Crist. “There will be doubters, and they have a right to that. But I ask that they have a little faith.” Crist likened his change of position on same-sex marriage to that of President Obama, who famously evolved from supporting only civil unions to supporting marriage for same-sex couples.
Crist said he has urged a state representative who is sponsoring a bill to create a domestic partnership registry in Florida to “go for marriage.”
A poll of 1,000 likely voters in late November showed Crist with a slight lead over incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott, but that lead has diminished over the past from a high of 16 points last March, to only four points in November.
Amazon pulls book telling parents to ignore their gay kids
Written by notorious anti-gay radio host Linda Harvey, the book tells parents to ignore their children when they say they’re gay. The radical anti-LGBT leader of Mission: America Linda Harvey, the book claims to ‘help’ teens realize their ‘bright future’ regardless of ‘same-sex attractions or gender confusion’.
Titled Maybe He’s Not Gay: Another View on Homosexuality, the book insists ‘as more and more young people announce this is their identity, it’s time to take a closer look.’
On coming out, Harvey says many young people think it is a ‘new civil right’ to be ‘who you are’.
‘But there’s a problem. Are we sure this is the truth?’ she says. ‘Does this identity bring the promised liberation and the key to a whole new life?
‘Does it lift the burden of secrecy – or begin a different kind of struggle?’
According to Back2Stonewall.com, Amazon pulled the book deemed ‘irresponsible and potentially dangerous.’
Harvey has a long history of airing her homophobic views.
In the past, she has said LGBT communities are not ‘people’, and should not be given equal protection under US law.
Harvey said in 2011 gay rights advocates were ‘masters of demonic manipulation’.
She has also referred to the It Gets Better video project as ‘wrong, it’s evil, it’s dark’.
In August 2011, Harvey said weekend radio show that ‘There is no proof that there’s ever anything like a gay, lesbian or bisexual or transgendered child, or teen or human.’
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a US civil rights organization has designated Harvey and Mission America as an active anti-gay hate group.