Former Governor Charlie Crist’s march to the left is all but complete.
The one-time Republican announced his support for marriage equality on his Facebook page, writing that he looks forward to the day it happens in Florida.
In his Facebook post, Crist writes that it is “great news” that Delaware became the 11th state to allow marriage equality.
In December, when he switched from No Party Affiliation to a registered Democrat, Crist said he regretted signing a 2006 petition against same sex marriage. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Crist named the petition as one of his chief regrets from his time in office.
“Would I do it today? No,” Crist said then.
Crist then went on to say, “I think the best way to judge where my heart is is to look at the deeds that I have done, whether as attorney general, governor — restoration of rights, civil rights cases, things of that nature that I think show a compassionate heart and hopefully someone who cares and knows who the boss is — and the boss is the people of Florida.”
Where Crist stands on gay rights and marriage equality has been complicated by the ridiculous rumors about him being a closeted homosexual that have swirled about Crist throughout his political career. Such innuendo continues to dog Crist, now a happily married man, because of trash allegations by former Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer thatCrist paid two men to conceal gay affairs.
As a Republican, Crist generally adopted a laissez faire attitude towards issues of gay rights and marriage equality. In 2008, when Floridians voted on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Crist said it was not an issue that moved him. ”I’m just a live and let live kind of guy,” the then governor said.
Such a nonchalant attitude did not sit well with most Democrats. Fortunately, Crist’s record on gay rights and marriage equality has improved since he left the governor’s mansion. During the 2010 US Senate race, Crist released a position paper endorsing the end of Florida’s ban on adoption by same-sex couples. He also endorsed legislation to allow gay Americans to sponsor their same-sex spouses for citizenship, repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and other LGBT priorities, notes Julie Bolcer of the Advocate.
Tonight, Crist has come full circle, emulating his new role model, Barack Obama, who also recently upgraded his position to a full-throated endorsement of marriage equality.