- (Photo: Reuters/Joe Skipper)
Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist recently issued an apology for backing the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2008.
Crist said in a recent interview with the Orlando-based LGBT publication Watermark Online that he regrets backing Florida's constitutional Amendment 2, which was approved by nearly 62 percent of voters in 2008 and defines marriage as being exclusively for one man and one woman.
"I'm sorry I did that. It was a mistake. I was wrong. Please forgive me," Crist told the publication. "I made a mistake. I'm not perfect … That's the journey I'm on … and I'm still on it.""
Crist was a Republican for the majority of the time he served as Florida's governor from 2007 to 2011, eventually leaving the party to become an Independent in 2009 when he unsuccessfully ran for a Senate seat. He then officially joined the Democratic Party in 2012 and endorsed Barack Obama, the democratic presidential candidate running for re-election at the time.
When Watermark Online asked Crist if his previous statements against gay marriage and gay adoption were "politically expedient," the politician responded: "They were. They were. And it was wrong. That's what I'm telling you. And I'm sorry."
"As a Republican, on social issues I always felt I was a round peg in a square hole. I just didn't fit. But I tried, until I couldn't do it any more … until I had to say, 'Enough is enough,'" Crist added.
Notably, when Crist initially backed the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2008, he said he did so because "It's what I believe in."
Crist announced in November 2013 that he will once again be running for Florida's governor position against incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott. His announcement came six months after the former governor said he supported same-sex marriage.
Crist went on to say that he was inspired to change his mind regarding same-sex marriage after President Barack Obama did so back in May. Although Crist is the most high-profile Democrat running in Florida's upcoming gubernatorial race, some Democrats have remained skeptical of his political platform, especially since he has flip-flopped on social issues such as gay marriage.
Wendy Sejour, the Precinct Committeewoman for precinct 909 in the Miami-Dade area, told Talking Points Memo in October that she thinks Crist is an opportunist who became a Democrat because it is politically expedient to do so.
"I don't trust him, he's an opportunist," Sejour said. "I mean he switches party affiliations at the drop of a hat. He hasn't really espoused any great change in political philosophy. It's just that it's more expedient for him to change now and I just don't feel it's appropriate to have a Republican at the top of the Democratic Party which is what he will be when he becomes the nominee."