Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) is urging those opposed to gay marrriage — including himself — to show couples “respect” as same-sex weddings are set to begin in his home state. 

“We live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law,” the likely 2016 presidential candidate said in a statement Monday evening.

{mosads}“I hope that we can also show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue — including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty.”

In 2008, Florida voters overwhelmingly voted to ban same-sex marriage in the state, but last year that ban was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.

The judge’s ruling was stayed until Monday to give time for legal appeals. The ban will be lifted statewide on Tuesday, although same-sex couples in parts of the state have already begun tying the knot.

Bush’s stance on the issue came under scrutiny over the weekend, when he provoked some confusion on the matter in a statement he made to the Miami Herald after a round of golf.

“It ought be a local decision. I mean, a state decision,” he said. “The state decided. The people of the state decided. But it’s been overturned by the courts, I guess.”

In his statement Monday, Bush said that while he supports traditional marriage, Florida should comply with the federal ruling. 

The Democratic National Committee hammered Bush for failing to come out in support of same-sex marriage.

“It took Jeb Bush 69 words to say absolutely nothing — 69 words not to say, ‘I support marriage equality.’ Nothing’s changed,” DNC communications director Mo Elleithee said in a statement. “At the end of Bush’s statement, he still had the same position: he opposes the right of gay and lesbian Floridians — and all LGBT Americans — to get married and adopt children.

“If he wants to tell us he’s changed his position, great. But this was not that statement. It was typical Jeb Bush.”  

Tags Gay Marriage Jeb Bush

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