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Charlie Crist apologizes for supporting efforts to ban same-sex marriage in Fla.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

In an extraordinary interview, Florida’s former Republican Governor Charlie Crist has apologized for having supported efforts to ban on same-sex marriage on the ballot in that state in 2008.

“I’m sorry I did that. It was a mistake. I was wrong. Please forgive,” said Crist, in an interview with Watermark, an LGBT news organization in Florida.

APCharlie Crist

AP
Charlie Crist

Crist was the Republican governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011. Crist is currently running for the Democratic nomination for governor, saying that his former political party “went nuts.”

But Watermark publisher Tom Dyer, who conducted the interview December 17, didn’t let Crist off the hook. He noted Crist also supported limiting marriage to heterosexual couples when Crist ran for senator in 2006 and that he expressed a belief that children who need to be adopted would be best off in “traditional” heterosexual homes.

“When you look back at the circumstances, one could come to the conclusion that your shifts in opinion were either politically expedient…” said Dyer.

“They were. They were. And it was wrong,” said Crist, interrupting. “That’s what I’m telling you. And I’m sorry.”

Nadine Smith, chief executive officer of Equality Florida, said she was “glad to see someone who has done harm publicly pledge to work to repair the damage.”

“My activism is based on the premise that people can and do change,” said Smith, who has been an LGBT activist for many years. “I’m particularly proud of Tom Dyer the publisher of Watermark for pulling no punches and really zeroing in on the issues. He asked the questions that needed to be asked and that we deserved to have publicly and thoroughly answered. I can’t recall the last time I’ve heard a politician say ‘I was wrong. I am sorry’.”

Crist told Dyer his earlier positions were “examples of me trying to be a good Republican.”

“I couldn’t do it anymore and I’m sorry I did,” said Crist. “I made a mistake. I’m not perfect…please don’t hold me to that standard. And I’m sincerely sorry. I understand when it’s necessary to say I was wrong.”

“Can you convince us that your present views aren’t once again driven by political expediency?” asked Dyer. “Can you convince us that the positions you’ve recently expressed are heartfelt, and something we can count on in the future?”

“I just did,” said Crist. “There will be doubters, and they have a right to that. But I ask that they have a little faith.” Crist likened his change of position on same-sex marriage to that of President Obama, who famously evolved from supporting only civil unions to supporting marriage for same-sex couples.

Crist said he has urged a state representative who is sponsoring a bill to create a domestic partnership registry in Florida to “go for marriage.”

A poll of 1,000 likely voters in late November showed Crist with a slight lead over incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott, but that lead has diminished over the past from, from a high of 16 points last March, to only four points in November.

© 2014, Keen News Service, All Rights Reserved.
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124 more reader comments:

  1. Must be some money attached to something!! The GOP and hits hate groups never apologize unless there is something in it for them!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:17pm
  2. Of course he wanted it banned! I always heard he has commitment issues with his boyfriends.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:18pm
  3. Charlie is a damn fiip flop politican

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:18pm
  4. “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:19pm
  5. You're obviously uncultured, Ben. Go watch "The Usual Suspects". You'll understand real quick.

    Replied on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:16pm
  6. Oh, AMEN, Steven William Talbert! Thank you, Jebus! But how long before anti-gay Bible-banging Jesus Nazis get their heads out of their asses and realize that their hate is decidedly anti-Christian and downright demonic? In the name of Jebus, I ree-ya-buh-YUKE the demon of anti-gay hate!!! Come OUT!!!! (get it? [smirk] )

    Replied on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:32pm
  7. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing churches that using the old testament to support bigotry and hatred is a form of christianity.

    Replied on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:45pm
  8. Watching "The Usual Suspects" doesn't make you cultured. Unless, of course, you live in Florida...

    Replied on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 7:15pm
  9. What in the fuck is this supposed to mean?

    Replied on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 10:07pm
  10. Eric Peters...You're comment is amazing.

    Replied on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 10:11pm
  11. stay at Morgan and Morgan

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:19pm
  12. He’s as slimy as they get.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:19pm
  13. Id rather have a politician who changes his/her mind based on the will of those he/she represents than one that only takes the stand based off of the will of his/her party’s wishes. This is why I will be proudly voting for Charlie Crist for Governor of the state of Florida.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:21pm
  14. We all know he’s sucked boy cock. Don’t forgive him or vote for him in any election. “GO AWAY and hide your head in shame.”

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:22pm
  15. The Dems really are just throwing a whole election by backing this guy. We are literally handing it over to Rick Scott.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:22pm
  16. I live in Florida and I won’t vote for the ass.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:25pm
  17. Soon he’ll announce his engagement to his long-time partner.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:25pm
  18. Look Chelsea Cruz he’s now going for the democrats party.. And is pro gay marriage… I wonder wut changed his mind….

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:26pm
  19. I hope he does not say this now then turns his back again.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:27pm
  20. Good but too little too late

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:27pm
  21. sounds like backpeddling

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:35pm
  22. does he share you interest

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:38pm
  23. A bit l8 for that a**hole!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:39pm
  24. I don’t live in FL so I don’t know all the details of anything else about him other than it was fun to “pick” on him when he was a Republican. And not knowing whether he is being sincere or not, but with that being said don’t we want to educate people that their views on “our” issues might be wrong and have them change? If that is so, let’s give this guy a chance otherwise we are just hypocrites.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:41pm
  25. No! He purposely played the part of bigot to get votes. Don't you see what's happening boy? They're playing people and using LGBT people as a pawn for one of the most evil political ventures of all time.

    Replied on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:29pm
  26. I don't trust him....he is out to get elected whether he is for gay marriage or not.

    Replied on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:50pm
  27. Hopefully y’all don’t treat everyone who realizes that their opposition to same sex marriage was wrong so badly and have such negativity towards them.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:41pm
  28. Bullshit, if he was concerned he wouldnt have supported it in the first place. Back peddling asses make me sick.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:45pm
  29. Right, because people can never learn and change their opinions over time. Tell me, what is the difference between 'back-peddling' and actually evolving? Would you rather people stick to their uninformed bigoted view or actually grow as people?

    Replied on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:17pm
  30. I do, however, like the phrase about his party going nuts.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:45pm
  31. Whats he running for again?

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:47pm
  32. him & his wife are great gay examples ;)

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:49pm
  33. Too little, too late.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:51pm
  34. Really???Oh It was popular in 2008 but now you flipping because it isn’t popular anymore. How funny is this….

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:52pm
  35. Here is our man for the next Florida elections, now it is time for him to come-out and support in public the Florida Initiative for Medical Marijuana that should be bond to be put in the ballot of the Nov. elections- this is getting good, people.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:00pm
  36. Translate: “It cost me votes and corporate sponsors.”

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:04pm
  37. mmmm alright I will buy it, but for the future I would list some facts that made you change your mind and why you now support it. If you give us reasons it will be easier to believe.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:06pm
  38. tsk! tsk! tsk!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:10pm
  39. This community is forgiving, do it again and we will cut you.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:10pm
  40. Florida’s current governor is a raging Tea Partier. And while it does seem like Crist is a major flip flopper we’re kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. Frankly, I’m more inclined to take a commitment to an important issue even if it has the possibility of being false than a slap in the face.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:10pm
  41. Convienient when the polls are more favorable and you are at less risk to take a stand, and you’ve switched to a party that is generally, though not always more accepting. At this point I have more respect for Rob Portman who stayed a Repub but took an unpopular stance in his party,though sadly it took having his own son come out for him to find his empathy and backbone.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:12pm
  42. We want people to learn to accept us, but it seems like whenever someone does, all the queer community does is attack the person and refuse to forgive them or accept their change in attitude. How can we expect things to change if we refuse to accept people who realize their mistakes?

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:13pm
  43. …but not for being one of the most flagrant opportunists in American politics.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:14pm
  44. Did he come out of the closet, too?

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:16pm
  45. What took you soooo long! Keep going branch out diversify our possibilities! You change your party faster than you changed human rights policy. Keep going talk about voter restrictions and medicinal marijuanna

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:18pm
  46. Wow did he come out of the closet yet, that’s what he really needs to do

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:21pm
  47. But glad to see he has seen the light, better late than never , good for him

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:23pm
  48. Yea, too late.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:23pm
  49. So, just curious…why is he a back-peddler that just wants votes, but when Obama changed his views on the same subject he had a HUGE outpouring of support from the LGBT community?? Seems to me that they are no different.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:26pm
  50. cool apologies work

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:28pm
  51. That is a first step! It takes guts to apologize. You won’t hear any Republican or Teaparty Taliban apologizing–the arrogant ba$ta**s!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:29pm
  52. I am thankful for his change. Many evlove… Some because its the right thing to do and others because its the popular or polls show you are wrong. Either way I’ll take his and anyone else that is willing to take a stand for change. Let us not get caught up on why or how but be greatful for it. For without the changing of opinions we will not continue forward.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:30pm
  53. trying to be politically correct, after the fact, years after the fact

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:44pm
  54. People amaze me.
    Instead of be thankful that someone may have seen the error of his ways (hopefully), you all spew hate.
    It doesn’t matter what he did before if he is legitimately making an effort to change.
    Time to stop hating those that want to change or no one will ever change

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:45pm
  55. Please God let them lift the right to get married in Florida O my freaking God I want to get married so bad down there .

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:47pm
  56. I accept his apology, and I forgive him, but I will not vote for him.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:48pm
  57. Look at Mr. Heartfelt apology, Florida is strangling itself with service-related job market, he needs to support this, so they can get some revenue dollars from it, duh.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:49pm
  58. He needs to come out already

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:53pm
  59. I thought he was gay

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:54pm
  60. Trying to save face for an upcoming election I’m guessing.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:54pm
  61. excuises.. excuises

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:05pm
  62. I want more than apologies.. I want actions that fix the follies!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:06pm
  63. I will never forgive you !

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:09pm
  64. He is prob just saying that because he may be up for re election howevet if it is a sincere apology than that is awesome.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:14pm
  65. of course, your out of office and can do no good for the state and can suffer no repercussions you dick, but you didn’t mind all the money the gay community pumps into the Florida communities, go fcuk yourself some where else

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:21pm
  66. Why is it that so many “former” Republican politicians are in favor of same-sex civil marriage equality. I wonder if he will come out of the closet now.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:26pm
  67. Moron!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:27pm
  68. Wow – who’d have thought?

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:29pm
  69. Forgive him. He sees the error of his ways. Let it go. We need everyone we can get.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:34pm
  70. Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:34pm
  71. Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:35pm
  72. maybe if you’d done this 5-10 years ago I’d believe it. now that doma is dead and it’s legacy dying fast, hell no.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:35pm
  73. This is a man with character.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:37pm
  74. Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:37pm
  75. If he had said it when he has nothing to gain then I’d believe him. He’s running for governor. Of course he’s going to say what ever he can to get into office.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:39pm
  76. I think this is a case of : if my mouth is moving I’m lying.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:45pm
  77. CRAZY frickin’ closet case!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:48pm
  78. You know I remember when I pointed out that Obama used to be a supporter of “traditional” marriage and I got bombarded with “but he CHANGED.” Well now a republican has changed, why the hate?

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:50pm
  79. Just like Forest Gump, I don’t know what to say about that!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:59pm
  80. good

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:03pm
  81. This numb nuts need’s a pink slip

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:04pm
  82. I don’t care what you’ve been through or what you haven’t. Apology accepted. :D

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:06pm
  83. Too late bitch

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:16pm
  84. About time closet case!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:18pm
  85. Pressure from his boyfriend?

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:19pm
  86. lol

    Replied on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:50pm
  87. …if he’d finish the road of ‘atonement’ and just come OUT, then I might believe that he’s sincere….otherwise, he remains as slippery as an eel…

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:25pm
  88. Better apology would be working actively to bring marriage equality

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:29pm
  89. Good for Crist. I hope he becomes a strong supporter of us….whatever his reasons!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:30pm
  90. Apology accepted. Now get on with granting us our rights!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:30pm
  91. It’s a little late Charlie, but thanks anyhow

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:52pm
  92. Has Crist come out yet?

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:56pm
  93. Is he running for office? Faux apologies are such bullshit.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 7:04pm
  94. Make same sex legal in Florida then….Let’s get moving..

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 7:27pm
  95. I am a true blue Democrat that can still see the Republican in him! And didn’t mention anything about being closeted.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 7:51pm
  96. Chameleon! Come on!!! What’s your true color????????? Any way the wind blows! Who is in his pocket? Mr. Morgan????

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 7:53pm
  97. I am innately skeptical of big changes like this… and convenient how this all came to light right as he’s running for office! But I’ll be interested to see how this plays out.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 8:02pm
  98. He’ll have my vote if I have to wait another 9 hours in line.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 8:03pm
  99. this is a shame since he does not have the courage to really come out

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 8:32pm
  100. look o the bright side

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 8:43pm
  101. Too little too late! Running for political office and trying to get support huh?

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 8:54pm
  102. nope….a persons first reaction to something is always the truth……I don’t want your half-hearted two faced apology…..ilk like you and your cohorts need to be cleansed from this world to achieve peace on this topic….unfortunately…….it won’t ever happen cause everyone wants to be free so…..each to their own I suppose but that’s my opinion :)

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 9:37pm
  103. He must be looking to continue his political career, which explains why he’s kissing up now.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 9:38pm
  104. Well, here’s your discount double-take for the day…. did Skippy finally realize that his state is the gay mecca of the south?

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 9:57pm
  105. Maybe he is sincere. Most of the apologizers (for political reasons) aren’t sincere.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 10:14pm
  106. Wow really Charlie that’s all you have to say?

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 10:46pm
  107. He has to right his wrongs!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 10:51pm
  108. Political correctness must die!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 11:40pm
  109. Apologizing for a mistake is the most humble gesture one can do. Grate action by Crist.

    Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 12:02am
  110. I think we should praise his positive intentions and maybe he and others will bear more good fruit. You can’t read the man’s mind.

    Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 12:22am
  111. I’m so tired of people apologizing they said it in their heart why apologize for whats in your heart. it if offends someone they will get over their selfs.

    Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 12:38am
  112. Great article watermark. Excellent comment Nadine Smith!

    Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 12:46am
  113. Better late than never I suppose. Anyone is better than Scott anyway.

    Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 12:53am
  114. white haired man speaketh with fork-ed tongue… ;)

    Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 12:58am
  115. doesnt change come one step at a time? isn’t this a step in the direction if change? its on record that he “was wrong” and that he’s “sorry”. i want nothing more than the chance to stand side by side with who i love because he loves me and this seems like a good step to me. all we can do is continue OUR fight for free will, openness and honesty. even though the conservatives want to keep us 3rd class citizens, we cant fight the way they fight. the TRUTH is the TRUTH and as Nelson Mandela once said,” History will one day look back and judge our judgers, but we as a free people shall not sell our souls by becoming like those who hate us. We must remain true to our cause, our cause for humanity!”
    true i cant vote but, many of you can. I hope you all see into your hearts and find a way to believe again. one small step from a man can be one giant leap for mankind.

    just my 2 cents.

    Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 1:08am
  116. Too late. We already know you’re a bigot.

    Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 1:13am
  117. What a lying sack of closet case shit! There are too many other corporate whores in Florida to give this cum dumpster a second chance. Kick his nasty old leathery ass to the curb!

    Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 1:21am
  118. Too late

    Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 2:22am
  119. Atta boy, Charlie

    Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 2:47am
  120. Apology not enough!

    Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 3:02am
  121. Leopards cant change their genetic spots.

    Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 3:02am
  122. You can tell he is running for office lmao…he can’t make up his mind what he believes on anything yet he thinks Fl will fall for it again…

    Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 3:16am
  123. I hope Floridians aren’t stupid enough to vote for this A-hole again. I’d never trust a Republican that “switched” parties. Nope. Don’t believe it It’s just a smoke and mirrors trick. No. Dump him now.

    Posted on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 3:48am