Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, an independent seeking a seat in the U.S. Senate, today told CNN’s Ed Henry that he would support a federal constitutional amendment prohibiting individual states from allowing same-sex couples to marry.
“When it comes to marriage, I think it is a sacred institution, I believe it is between a man and a woman,” Crist said, “but partners living together, you know, I don’t have a problem with it.”
“It’s just how I feel,” Crist added.
Anti-gay activists have repeatedly pushed Congress to consider a Federal Marriage Amendment, but it has never gathered enough support to pass. The amendment was a central issue in the 2004 presidential election.
Currently five states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples to legally wed. A federal constitutional amendment would end marriage equality in those jurisdictions.
UPDATE: Well that was quick. Hours after he said he still supported a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality for same-sex couples, Crist has retreated to a slightly more moderate position. He issued the following clarification tonight:
“In an interview that aired today, I was not discussing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning same-sex marriage, which I do not support, but rather reaffirming my position regarding Florida’s constitutional ban that I articulated while running for Governor. In fact, the interviewer’s question reflected just that. I am fully supportive of civil unions and will continue to be as a United States Senator, but believe marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman.”