“Likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said that Christian business owners should not have to provide services for gay weddings if it goes against their religious beliefs. “Yes, absolutely, if it’s based on a religious belief,” he said when asked by the Christian Broadcasting Network in an interview Saturday if businesses should be able to decline services to same-sex weddings.
“The former Florida governor justified his position by claiming that not providing a service does not count as discrimination if business owners feel that it violates their religious rights. “A big country, a tolerant country, ought to be able to figure out the difference between discriminating someone because of their sexual orientation and not forcing someone to participate in a wedding that they find goes against their moral beliefs,” he said. “This should not be that complicated. Gosh, it is right now.”
“The blurry distinction has become a controversial topic, as many wedding-related businesses around the country, like florists and bakeries, have turned down gay customers, citing religious freedom. The issue became politically charged in March, when Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, which allows businesses to cite religious rights as a reason for refusing service. Many in the GOP presidential field, including Bush, defended the law. “Once the facts are established, people aren’t going to see this as discriminatory at all,” he said in March.
However, speaking exclusively to Newslo, former Gov. Bush stated that, all things considered, “there should at least be some resemblance of a two-sided solution in this whole matter.”
He stated: “America has always taken great pride in being fair to its citizens, as well as allowing them to be fair amongst themselves. So, there may be another solution to the matter; one that doesn’t require either side to compromise on anything it stands firmly for.”
“If Christians have the right to refuse to serve gay weddings,” Bush proposed, “perhaps members of the LGBT community should also be allowed to ban all Christians from their weddings, given that it’s against their beliefs. So, both sides need to have the same authority, legally speaking, to support what they believe in. That would be, in my book at least, a perfect example of just how great America can be.”