Jimmy Carter: ‘I believe that Jesus would approve of gay marriage’

Former U.S. President Carter said on Sunday he believes “Jesus would approve of gay marriage.”

“I think Jesus would encourage any love affair if it was honest and sincere and was not damaging to anyone else and I don’t see that gay marriage damages anyone else,” Carter, who describes himself as a born-again Christian, told HuffPost Live.

Carter added, however, that churches that disagree with same-sex marriage should not have to perform them.

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Carter also said he has “had a problem with abortion” because he doesn’t believe Jesus would approve of most abortions.

“I have a hard time believing that Jesus would approve abortions unless it was because of rape or incest or if the mother’s life was in danger. So I’ve had that struggle,” Carter said. “I’ve had that struggle, but my oath of office was to obey the Constitution and the laws of this country as interpreted as the Supreme Court, so I went along with that.”

Carter was president from 1977-1981, after the Supreme Court had legalized abortion in the landmark case Roe v. Wade.  

He spoke at length in the HuffPost Live video about how his faith has informed his politics. He is promoting his new book, "A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety."