- The Washington Times - Monday, January 5, 2015

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Sunday that gay marriage should be a “state decision,” weighing in on the thorny social issue that could figure prominently in the 2016 GOP presidential nominating contest.

“It ought be a local decision. I mean, a state decision,” Mr. Bush told the Miami Herald. “The state decided. The people of the state decided. But it’s been overturned by the courts, I guess.”

Mr. Bush opposed same-sex marriage as governor, but also suggested in a 2012 interview with PBS that gay parents could be held up as role models even as he said he believed traditional marriage should be the one sanctioned under law.

“If people love their children with all their heart and soul and that’s what they do and that’s how they organize their life, that should be held up as an example to others, because we need it,” he said in the interview.

A federal judge in August ruled Florida’s 2008 amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman unconstitutional and stayed the ruling until the end of the day on Jan. 5 for appeals.

And the judge, Robert Hinkle, told county clerks they would be violating the U.S. Constitution if they did not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples once his order took effect Jan. 6, the Herald reported.

A state judge also ruled against Florida’s marriage amendment in July but stayed the ruling to allow for appeals, with a hearing scheduled for Monday to decide whether the stay will be lifted.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has defended the law as constitutional.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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