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Jeb Bush: Opposes Marriage Equality

Withdrew Candidacy

Jeb Bush: As Governor, Opposed Marriage Equality

As governor of Florida, Jeb Bush consistently opposed marriage equality for LGBT Americans. And he showed a willingness to appoint staff and contribute money to causes that had strong anti-equality agendas.

Marriage: As governor, Bush said he believed marriage was between “one man” and “one woman” and eventually supported amending Floridas constitution to oppose same-sex marriage. Under Bush, the Florida Republican Party spent thousands on the amendment.

Discrimination: When asked by a potential LGBT employee about his policy on hiring LGBT people, Bush suggested the employee should stay closeted. He has a history of opposing protections for LGBT Americans as “special legal rights,” and while he now says he believes in preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation, he has not said whether he supports ENDA.

Executive Order: Unclear 

Conversion Therapy: Unclear 

Harmful RhetoricBush called marriage and partner benefits for LGBT Americans “special rights.” 

Adoption: Bush opposed allowing LGBT couples to adopt as governor. After it was made legal through a court decision, Bush said he respected the decision.

Anti-bullyingSet up commission on bullying.

Bushs Notable Quotes on LGBT Equality

1994: Bush Said “Should Sodomy Be Elevated To The Same Constitutional Status As Race And Religion? My Answer Is No.” In an editorial for the Miami Herald, Bush wrote, “The public policy question is whether homosexuals deserve special legal protection from otherwise legal, private acts of discrimination, which protections are not available to smokers, drinkers, children, redheads, Midwesterners, Democrats, veterans, nudists, etc. Or, to put it another way, should sodomy be elevated to the same constitutional status as race and religion? My answer is No. We have enough special categories, enough victims, without creating even more.” [BuzzFeed, 1/5/2015, Miami Herald, 6/22/1994]

 

2014: Bush Spokesperson: “Gov. Bush Believes That Our Society Should Have A Culture Of Respect For All People, Regardless Of Their Differences, And That Begins With Preventing Discrimination, Including When It Comes To Sexual Orientation.” After some of Bush’s previous views from 1994 on LGBT anti-discrimination policies, including that it creates a new “special category” of victims, were published by BuzzFeed: “In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a spokeswoman for Bush said the governor no longer holds the views in the editorial and would not use the language today. ‘Gov. Bush believes that our society should have a culture of respect for all people, regardless of their differences, and that begins with preventing discrimination, including when it comes to sexual orientation,’ said Kristy Campbell, Bush’s spokeswoman. ‘This opinion editorial from 20 years ago does not reflect Gov. Bush’s views now, nor would he use this terminology today.’” [BuzzFeed, 1/5/2015, Miami Herald, 6/22/1994]

 

Bush on the Issues

  • Protecting President Obama’s Executive Orders: Opposed

  • Ban Harmful “Conversion Therapy:” TBD

Significant Findings on Marriage Equality

  • Defended Florida’s ban on marriage equality
     

  • Told gay constituent he opposed marriage equality because marriage “needed to be strengthened”

 

  • Supported state constitutional amendment banning marriage equality after earlier saying it was unnecessary because Florida already had a law on the books.

 

  • Spent thousands in support of Florida’s same-sex marriage ban

 

  • Refused to oppose DOMA

 

  • Thinks marriage equality is just a “distraction”

 

  • Supports states individually deciding marriage on their own

 

  • Affirmed opposition to same-sex marriage, but called for respect for “the good people on all sides” of the issue, including couples making “lifetime commitments” and “those of us” who “want to safeguard religious liberty”

 

2004: Bush Said In Constituent E-Mails: “I Do Not Support Gay Marriages Being Recognized In Florida…That Is The Law And It Will Stay That Way.” According to the Daily Beast, while same-sex marriage was being discussed during the presidential race in 2004: “Meanwhile, in Florida, Bush was flooded with questions about whether gay marriage could possibly come to the Sunshine State. His answer: Not on my watch. ‘I do not support gay marriages being recognized in Florida,he wrote Andrew Walther of Sanford. ‘That is the law and it will stay that way.’” [The Daily Beast, 1/9/2015]

 

2004: Bush Said In Constituent E-Mails Worried About Spread Of Same-Sex Marriage, “We Will Uphold The Law In Florida.” According to the Daily Beast, while same-sex marriage was being discussed during the presidential race in 2004, Gov. Bush received an email: “‘Please, please do not permit this to happen here in Florida,wrote Cris K. Smith of East Polk County. ‘We here in Florida do not want to be in the same boat as California. I believe that this is going to spread like wild fire. Lets put out the fire before it has a chance to start.A few days later, Bush replied, ‘We will uphold the law in Florida.’” [The Daily Beast, 1/9/2015]

 

2004: Bush Responded To Constituent Wishing To Marry Same-Sex Partner That “The Institution Of Marriage Is Under Attack In Our Society” And That His Relationship Could Be “Made More Permanent Through Contractual Obligations.” The Daily Beast reported that Bush had received a letter from a constituent saying the push to ban same-sex marriage made him feel “particularly unequal.” According to the Daily Beast: “Bush responded about a month later. ‘Thank you for writing and I apologize for not responding earlier. The tyranny of the present has gotten me!Bush wrote. ‘I am sensitive to your point of view but respectfully disagree. If there is discrimination, there are remedies. The cases of violence against gay and lesbians are unconscionable and the laws in Florida exist to bring justice.Bush then suggested that Cortada and his partner could be ‘made more permanent through contractual obligations that set forth asset disposition and other issuesbut added that he did not believe their relationship ‘should be afforded the same status in the law as a man and a woman agreeing to marraige [sic].’ ‘The institution of marraige [sic] is under attack in our society and it needs to be strengthened,Bush wrote. ‘This does not have to be at the expense of other kinds of relationships but in support of the most important institution in our society.’” [The Daily Beast, 1/9/2015]

 

2004: A Bush Spokesman Said, “We've Had A Law On The Books In Florida Since 1977 Banning Gay Marriage And The Governor Took An Oath Of Office To Uphold The Laws Of The State.” According to the Associated Press: “Jacob DiPietre, a spokesman for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, said the president's brother stands behind the state law. Florida is among 38 states that prohibit same-sex unions. ‘We've had a law on the books in Florida since 1977 banning gay marriage and the governor took an oath of office to uphold the laws of the state,he said.” [Associated Press, 2/25/2004]

 

2004: A Bush Spokesman Said, “The Governor Believes In The Sanctity Of Marriage. Marriage Is Between A Man And A Woman.” According to the Florida Times Union: “Gov. Jeb Bush's office said the governor supports his brother's decision as well.The governor believes in the sanctity of marriage,said spokesman Jacob DiPietre. ‘Marriage is between a man and a woman. DiPietre said the governor would comment on the specific amendment when one is submitted to Florida.” [Florida Times-Union, 2/25/2004] 

 

Bush Said California Efforts And Fear Of “Ambitious Courts” Drove His Support For Constitutional Amendment Defining Marriage As Between A Man And A Woman And That President Bush Was Doing The “Right Thing.” Bush was asked by Fox News’ John Gibson, “So where are we now on states' rights? I mean, you're the governor of Florida. If some city in Florida starts issuing gay marriage licenses, what do you do? What should the California governor be doing?” Bush responded, “Well, we're going to enforce the law in our state, and there's already the first rumblings of an effort in Florida to do just that, to have a marriage that would be in violation of state law, violation of federal law…..But here's the challenge. Well, we're going to enforce the law and say that it's not valid, and — but the problem with this is that we have overly ambitious courts that — that don't take the — what the legislature says or the Congress says to heart. And that's why I think the president's decision to support a constitutional amendment is the right thing, to once and for all make it clear that marriage should be between a man and a woman. A husband and wife should be a man and a woman.” [Fox News, The Big Story With John Gibson, 2/26/2004; VIDEO] 

 

2004: Bush Said Florida Would Not Recognize Rosie O’Donnell’s Marriage In Florida, And “To Defy The Law And Something As Sacred As A Covenant As Marriage, I Think, Is Wrong” And Will Only Lead To A Constitutional Amendment. In an interview with Fox News, Bush was asked “Governor, if Rosie O'Donnell and her new bride should move to Florida, would their marriage be recognized in any way?” Bush responded, “No it wouldn't. And Rosie O'Donnell did live in Florida. I'm sure she'll let you know all about it. That's — those are our laws, and she — she would not, nor in any other part of the country, perhaps in Massachusetts. But to defy the law and something as sacred as a covenant as marriage, I think, is wrong, and it only, I think, leads us to believe that it's important to put this in the Constitution, which should be the last resort…..That's why I support the president's efforts. He has been a strong, moral leader. His compass points north. People know what he believes and stands for. People underestimate that in politics today.” [Fox News, The Big Story With John Gibson, 2/26/2004; VIDEO]

 

2004:  Bush Opposed Civil Unions Saying “There Are Ways For Them To Create A Contractual Arrangement That Provides The Benefits That They Claim They Can't Get.”  “Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, however, doesn't see a need for civil unions. ‘There are ways for them to create a contractual arrangement that provides the benefits that they claim they can't get,’ Bush said. ‘There's nothing in the law that says that someone can't provide money to their survivor.’” [Associated Press, 3/8/2004]

 

2004: Bush Questioned Whether A State Constitutional Amendment Banning Marriage Equality Was Necessary. According to the Associated Press: “Florida Baptists unanimously gave their blessing Tuesday to a resolution calling for state constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. […] Gov. Jeb Bush said there is no need for a constitutional amendment here because the federal Defense of Marriage Act already addresses the issue. ‘I'm not sure it's necessary to do this in a pre-emptive fashion,he said. ‘I think we're safe.[…] Bush said he is sure the Legislature would be enthusiastic about supporting a measure that would keep marriage between a man and a woman if the landscape changes and an amendment is needed.” [Associated Press, 11/9/04]

 

2004: Bush Said His View That A Federal Amendment To Ban Same-Sex Marriage “Would Change If Someone Could Prove To Me That Our Law Is Vulnerable To Future Court Challenges.” According to The Daily Beast: “Later in the year, Bush stopped short of backing his brothers call for a constitutional amendment when asked what he was ‘hearing as it relates to a constitutional amendment on the defense of marriage.’ ‘I don’t think the amendment is necessary since gay marriages aren’t legal in our state,he wrote. ‘My view would change if someone could prove to me that that our law is vulnerable to future court challenges. I dont see it.In a bit of foreshadowing, he repeated that opinion in November. ‘Our state already prohibits gay marriage,he wrote. ‘Unless there is a court decision that changes our law, we are OK.’” [The Daily Beast, 1/9/2015]

 

  • Bush: “If There Was Ever Indication That The Courts Were Going To Change And Therefore There Needed To Be Protection In The Constitution” He Would Support State Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage. The Lakeland Ledger reported: “Gov. Jeb Bush seemed unconvinced of the need for an amendment. ‘If there was ever indication that the courts were going to change (the law) and therefore there needed to be protection in the Constitution, then I would support that initiative,Bush said during an appearance in Jacksonville. ‘Until such time as I can see that there is that threat looming, then I believe the Constitution shouldn't be changed unless it is necessary.’” [Lakeland Ledger, 2/15/05]

  • Bush: “I Just Don't Think These Things Necessarily Have To Be Embedded In Our [Florida’s] Constitution.” According to the Florida Times Union: “Gov. Jeb Bush said Wednesday he is still opposed to an amendment against same-sex marriage because the state's laws already prohibit the practice. ‘Like other things, I just don't think these things necessarily have to be embedded in our constitution,’ Bush said. ‘There are state laws that ban gay marriages in our state, and I don't see anything on the horizon that would create any kind of constitutional change. If there was, perhaps it would be necessary.’” [Florida Times Union, 9/22/05]

 

2004: Bush Said His Belief In Marriage Between A Man And A Woman Was “Not Based On Hate Or Is It Discriminatory.” The Daily Beast reported that a constituent felt Bush’s opposition to same-sex marriage appeared as “hatred for someone who is different from you and therefore you are willing to discriminate against them.” “Bush replied his position was “not based on hate or is it discriminatory… I have said that traditional marriage between a man and a woman should be protected in the Constitution if the courts rule that gays can marry.”[The Daily Beast, 1/9/2015]

 

2006: Jeb Bush Embraces State Constitutional Amendment Banning Marriage Equality, Citing Courts Overturning Bans, Said, “We May Be At That Point In Our State.” According to the Orlando Sentinel: “Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday night he's moving away from a longstanding position that there's no need for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. At a fundraiser for the Florida Family Policy Council, a conservative group that backs such a ban, Bush said courts in other states overturning laws banning gay marriages have led him to the conclusion that a change to the Florida Constitution might be necessary. ‘We may be at that point in our state,he said…..It came as Florida's Republican elite joined the group in honoring Bush at the dinner for his conservative stances with a new award named after state Sen. Daniel Webster. The Florida Family Policy Council is the same organization that pressed lawmakers and the courts last year to keep Terri Schiavo on a feeding tube and now is working toward giving voters a chance to decide whether a gay-marriage ban should be written into the Florida Constitution.” [Orlando Sentinel, 5/20/2006]

 

Under Bush, The Republican Party Of Florida Donated $300,000 To Group Supporting Floridas Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Over 2/3rds Of Groups Donations, In Policy Reversed By Crist. According to the Orlando Sentinel, under Governor Bush, the Republican Party of Florida donated $300,000 To Florida4Marriage. “The organization sponsoring the same-sex marriage ban, Florida4Marriage.org, has raised about $430,000 for its campaign since it began collecting petitions two years ago. But more than two-thirds of that money came from the GOP, which wrote it a pair of $150,000 checks.” Crist later said the donations were “probably not” something the Florida Republican Party should focus on. [Orlando Sentinel, 2/14/2007]

 

2009: Asked If Party Needed To De-Emphasize Abortion And Same-Sex Marriage To Win Elections, Bush Said “No. No, I Think Those Are Important Issues Not To Shy Away From.” In an interview with Esquire magazine, Jeb Bush was asked “does the party need to change or de-emphasize its positions on abortion or gay marriage?” Bush responded, “No. No, I think those are important issues to not shy away from. And I don't think that's the reason why suburban voters have migrated to the Democrats. I think it's the economic issues. We have not been able to explain why these timeless conservative principles matter in 2009.”[Esquire, 7/8/2009O]

 

2012: Bush Called Marriage Equality A “Distraction” From The Economy. “Jeb Bush is on a three-day visit to Taiwan, and today the former Florida governor said the economy is the number one issue in the United States, calling same-sex marriage a ‘distractionin the presidential campaign. Bush made the comments at a question and answer session after giving a speech at a foreign ministry agency in Taipei, according to the Focus Taiwan News Channel.” [ABC News, 5/25/2012]

 

Bush Said He Opposed Same-Sex Marriage But “Not At The Expense Of Discriminating In Other Forms Of Family Structure” And That “Wholesome Loving Family Life Ought To Be Kind Of The Organizing Principle In A Free Society.” Asked by Charlie Rose if he supported same-sex marriage, Bush said, “‘No, I don’t. I don’t.’ CHARLIE ROSE: ‘What`s your objection?JEB BUSH: ‘But I would be -- I think traditional marriage is what should be sanctioned and not at the expense of discriminating in other forms of family structure. But so I don`t support it but I would say that wholesome loving family life ought to be kind of the organizing principle in a free society. If we don`t want to have government overwhelm us, then we have to be self-governing. CHARLIE ROSE: ‘Same-sex marriages can be loving and –‘ JEB BUSH: ‘They can. And so I would say -- I`m not passing judgment on this. I just -- you asked me a question, I gave you an answer.’” [Charlie Rose, 6/6/2012, VIDEO]

 

2012: Bush Said That While He Believes Marriage Is Between A Man And A Woman, “I Dont Think People Need To Be Discriminated Against Because They Dont Share My Belief….If People Love Their Children With All Their Heart And Soul…That Should Be Held Up As An Example For Others To Follow.” During an interview with Charlie Rose, Jeb Bush said, “I don’t think people need to be discriminated against because they dont share my belief on [marriage being between a man and a woman], and if people love their children with all their heart and soul and thats what they do and thats how they organize their life that should be held up as examples for others to follow because we need it….we desperately need it and that can take all sorts of forms. It doesn't have to take the one that I think should be sanctioned under the law." [Charlie Rose, 6/6/2012, VIDEO]

 

2013: Bush Said That “I Would Prefer [Marriage] To Be A State-By-State Issue.” According to Newsmax: “The day before the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on the constitutionality of gay marriage, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tells Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview that the issue should be decided by the states. ‘I would prefer it to be a state-by-state issue,Bush tells Newsmax. ‘Thats how we have dealt with a lot of issues in the United States. ‘Our federal system is a spectacular way to deal with changing mores — and states can take advantage of opportunities much better than federal government,Bush says. ‘This could be a place where the states play a role, as is the case right now.’” [Newsmax, 3/25/2013, VIDEO]

 

Bush Spokeswoman Couldn’t Say Whether Bush Supported Repeal Of The Federal Defense Of Marriage Act. The Tampa Tribune reported: “In recent interviews, Bush has called for the issue to be decided by states, not the federal government. A Bush spokeswoman couldn't say whether that meant Bush would favor repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.” [Tampa Tribune, 3/30/2013]

 

Bush Said  He Hoped The Constitutional Amendment In California Is Not Overturned. At the Mississippi College Spring Scholarship dinner, Bush said, “I’m a supporter of traditional marriage. I do think that these decisions should be made at a the state level, so I hope that the constitutional amendment in California is not overturned.” [16, WAPT News Jackson, 3/26/2013, YOUTUBE]



2013: Bush Said On Marriage Equality: “We Ought To Talk About It, Recognizing There Is More Than One Point Of View, And We Should Talk About It In A Way That Is Not Judgmental.” According to Newsmax: “‘I know for a fact that as it relates to gay marriage and other social issues there is growing divergence of opinion on this,Bush tells Newsmax. ‘When we talk about it, we ought to talk about it with a different tone — and we ought to talk about it recognizing that there is more than one point of view, and we should talk about it in a way that is not judgmental. If we can get to that point where people who have diverging points of view and express them in a civil way, the conservative coalition can stay intact.’” [Newsmax, 3/25/2013, VIDEO]

 

2014: Bush On Same-Sex Marriage: “Regardless Of Our Disagreements, We Have To Respect The Rule Of Law.” According to the New York Times: “As gay couples began to wed in Florida after a court ruling, Jeb Bush, the states former governor and long an opponent of same-sex marriages, struck a conciliatory note on Monday, telling The New York Times that ‘regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law.The Times had asked a spokeswoman for Mr. Bush, among other things, if he supported challenging a state judges ruling Monday that allowed same-sex couples to start marrying in parts of Florida. Mr. Bushs comments suggested a tepid acceptance of the new legal status, or at least an acknowledgment that there is little he can do to block it.” [New York Times, 1/5/2015]

 

2014: Bush On Same-Sex Marriage: “It Ought To Be A Local Decision. I Mean, A State Decision. The State Decided. The People Of The State Decided. But Its Be Overturned By The Courts, I Guess.” According to the Miami Herald: “As he considers a presidential run, Jeb Bush is not offering encouraging words about same-sex marriages coming to his home state. ‘It ought be a local decision. I mean, a state decision,’sthe former governor said Sunday in a brief interview. ‘The state decided. The people of the state decided. But its been overturned by the courts, I guess.His comments to the Miami Herald after a round of golf in Coral Gables tracked past statements by the Republican, who has said the gay-marriage question should be decided at the state level. But with Miami-Dade County ready to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples as early as Monday if a judge approves — and the rest of the state following on Tuesday — the historic change is bound to bring even more attention to Bushs somewhat guarded take on gay rights.” [Miami Herald, 1/4/2015]

 

2014: Bush Said “I Hope That We Can Show Respect For The Good People On All Sides Of The Gay And Lesbian Marriage Issue—Including Couple Making Lifetime Commitments To Each Other…And Those Of Us Who Believe Marriage Is A Sacrament And Want To Safeguard Religious Liberty.” According to the New York Times: “‘We live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law,’‘Mr. Bush said in a statement. ‘I hope that we can 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.’” [New York Times, 1/5/2015]

 

Bush Does Not Believe The Constitution Grants Right To Same-Sex Marriage. Reuters reported that “Republican Jeb Bush said in a weekend radio interview that he does not believe the Constitution grants a right to gay marriage, emphasizing his support for ‘traditional marriage.’ The Supreme Court is expected by the end of June to make a landmark ruling that could make gay marriage the law of the land or return the decision to individual states. ‘It's at the core of the Catholic faith and to imagine how we are going to succeed in our country unless we have committed family life, (a) committed child-centered family system, is hard to imagine, Bush told the Christian Broadcasting Network show, ‘The Brody File,’ in an interview broadcast on Sunday. ‘So, irrespective of the Supreme Court ruling because they are going to decide whatever they decide - I don’t know what they are going to do - we need to be stalwart supporters of traditional marriage,’ said Bush, who converted to Catholicism 20 years ago.” [Reuters, 5/19/2015]

 

Bush Said Judges Were “Imposing Restrictions And Rights That Do Not Exist In The Constitution…Somebody Here Is Being Small-Minded And Intolerant, And It Sure Isn’t [Those] Who Ask Only To Live And Practice Their Faith.” CBS News reported that at a commencement address at Liberty University, “Bush also had harsh words for the judicial branch. He slammed ‘federal judges mistaking themselves for elected legislators,’ who he said had started ‘imposing restrictions and rights that do not exist in the Constitution.’ ‘Somebody here is being small-minded and intolerant, and it sure isn't the nuns, ministers and laymen and women who ask only to live and practice their faith,’ the potential presidential candidate said. ‘Federal authorities are demanding obedience in complete disregard of religious conscience - and in a free society, the answer is 'No.'’” [CBS News, 5/9/2015, Liberty University, 5/9/2015; VIDEO]

 

Bush Said That To Create A “Right-To-Rise Society” Where Children Born In Poverty Can Prosper “We Have To Restore Committed, Loving Family Life With A Mom And A Dad” At Its Core. Bloomberg reported that “‘To imagine how we're going to succeed in our country unless we have committed family life, a child-centered family system, is hard to imagine,’ Bush said. ‘Irrespective of the Supreme Court ruling, because they're going to decide whatever they decide, and I don't know what they're going to do, we need to be stalwart supporters of traditional marriage.’ In previous interviews, Bush has argued that same-sex marriage is something best left to the states to decide. On Sunday, however, he spoke about the issue in much more urgent, and moralistic terms. ‘If we want to create a right-to-rise society, where people, particularly children born in poverty, if we want to have them have a chance we should be—a core American value,’ Bush said, ‘we have to restore committed, loving family life with a mom and a dad loving their children with their heart and soul.’” [Bloomberg, 5/17/2015; CBN, The Brody File, 5/17/2015; VIDEO]

 

Bush Said “We Have To Restore Committed, Loving Family Life With A Mom And Dad Loving Their Children With Their Heart And Soul” Regardless Of Supreme Court Decision On Marriage. Asked by CBN’s The Brody File whether he shared concerns of conservative Christians about same-sex marriage, Bush said “Well, I’m concerned about [same-sex marriage] as well. I think traditional marriage is a sacrament. It’s talking about being formed by one’s faith, it’s at the core of the Catholic faith and to imagine how we are going to succeed in our country unless we have committed family life, committed child-centered family system is hard to imagine. So, irrespective of the Supreme Court ruling because they are going to decide whatever they decide, I don’t know what they are going to do, we need to be stalwart supporters of traditional marriage. We have to restore committed, loving family life with a mom and dad loving their children with their heart and soul.” [CBN, The Brody File, 5/17/2015; VIDEO]

 

Bush Said He Would Attend A Same-Sex Wedding If Asked, But Believes In Traditional Marriage “That’s Worked Pretty Well For Our Country And For Western Civilization For Thousands Of Years.” According to the Washington Post, Jeb Bush was asked in Puerto Rico whether he has attended a same-sex wedding. Bush responded, “‘No I haven’t, that’s not to say I wouldn’t if people that I cared for were going to be married, of course I would go if they asked me to go,’ he said. ‘I believe in traditional marriage, so that’s worked pretty well for our country and for Western civilization for thousands of years. Having said that, this is a decision the court will make and we’ll have to wait and see what they decide.’ He was asked to repeat the answer in Spanish, and he did: ‘I support traditional marriage,’ he said in Spanish adding that ‘claro que si’ -- yes, of course I would attend a same-sex marriage if invited.”[Washington Post, 4/28/2015]

 

Bush Said His Support For “Traditional Marriage” “Transcends Politics….This Is Informed By My Faith And The Architecture Of My Life Isn’t Driven By Politics, It’s Driven By Faith.” At the First In The Nation Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, New Hampshire, Bush was asked if given the rising popularity of same-sex marriage by younger Republicans what would happen going forward. Bush responded, “Well, I think everybody’s waiting for a Supreme Court decision that may change the dynamics of this. I’m for traditional marriage. I believe that—This is a view, to be fair about it, this is a view that transcends politics. This is not well-focus group and you poll it and all this stuff. This is informed by my faith, and the architecture of my life isn’t driven by politics, it’s driven by my faith.” [First In The Nation Republican Leadership Summit, Nashua, New Hampshire, 4/17/2015; VIDEO]

 

Bush Said He Supported “Traditional Marriage” And Said “No” When Asked If He Was Changing His Position On Marriage Equality. Following an article noting recent hires by Bush’s campaign that supported marriage equality, Hannity asked Jeb Bush at CPAC “There was an indication in an article today. Gay marriage? Are you changing your position at all?” Bush responded, “No, I believe in traditional marriage.” Hannity followed, “Okay, there are numerous reports that you’re telling people privately that you are a moderate but then publicly…” Bush: “No.” Hannity: “I would call myself a Reagan Constitutional Conservative. How would you describe yourself?” Bush: “I would describe myself as a practicing reform-minded conservative. That I’ve actually done it.”[CPAC, 2/27/2015; VIDEO]

 

Significant Findings on Discrimination Protections for LGBT Americans

  • Opposed adding sexual orientation to Florida’s non-discrimination laws

 

  • Bush called LGBT Americans “another category of victims”
     

  • Compared LGBT Americans to drug dealers and bank robbers, later apologized for the comparison

 

  • Suggested that potential employee should stay closeted and follow “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

 

  • Later suggested he would support protections based on sexual orientation

 

  • Supported giving taxpayer funding to private religious organizations, even if they use discriminatory hiring practices

 

1993: Bush Supported Legislation Denying LGBT People Civil Rights Protections, Telling A Lesbian Couple, “I Dont Believe We Need To Create Another Category Of Victims.” According to the Associated Press: “Jeb Bush, 40, doesn't have the luxury of no opposition enjoyed by his big brother; a handful of Florida Republicans are seeking the nomination, which is why the campaign has started so soon. […] He opposes legalized abortion, and supports term limits and a ballot measure that would deny homosexuals specific protections under state civil rights laws. ‘I don't believe we need to create another category of victims,he said sternly to a lesbian couple that heckled him after one appearance.” [Associated Press, 10/31/1993]

 

1994: Bush: “We Have Enough Special Categories, Enough Victims, Without Creating Even More.” According to BuzzFeed: “During [Bushs] first and unsuccessful bid for governor in 1994, Bush argued in an editorial that LGBT people do not deserve special legal protection. ‘We have enough special categories, enough victims, without creating even more,he wrote. [BuzzFeed, 1/5/2015]

  • 1994: Bush Said “I Do Not Believe That Government Should Create A New Class Of Citizens With Special Legal Rights.” In an editorial in the Miami Herald, Bush said, “Re: the June 20 Herald editorial Bigotry and its mouthpieces about the gubernatorial candidates’ position on homosexuality and special legal rights for homosexuals: Homosexuality is wrong, but it is also wrong to discriminate against homosexuals in employment, housing, etc., solely on the basis of sexual preference. I have employed homosexuals and continue to do so. Therefore, I take vigorous exception to your characterization of me as a bigot. However, I do not believe that government should create a new class of citizens with special legal rights.” [BuzzFeed, 1/5/2015, Miami Herald, 6/22/1994]

 

  • 1994: Bush On LGBT Discrimination: “Polluters, Pedophiles, Pornographers, Drunk Drivers, And Developers Receive—And Deserve—Precious Little Representation Or Defense From Their Governor. The Statement That The Governor Must Stand Up For All People On All Matters Is Just Silly.” In an editorial in the Miami Herald on the lack of anti-discrimination policies for LGBT people in Florida, Bush wrote, “You imply that discrimination is always wrong, yet government and individual Floridians discriminate every day in innumerable ways. Government discriminates against bank robbers, drug dealers, litterbugs, and homeowners who repair their seawall without a permit, just to name a few. Yours is not a reasoned argument reflecting reality. The governor — and the government — do not defend the conduct of every Floridian with equal verve and enthusiasm. Polluters, pedophiles, pornographers, drunk drivers, and developers without proper permits receive — and deserve — precious little representation or defense from their governor. The statement that the governor must stand up for all people on all matters is just silly.” [BuzzFeed, 1/5/2015, Miami Herald, 6/22/1994]

 

  • 1994: Bush Said, “Should Sodomy Be Elevated To The Same Constitutional Status As Race And Religion? My Answer Is No.” In an editorial for the Miami Herald, Bush wrote, “The public policy question is whether homosexuals deserve special legal protection from otherwise legal, private acts of discrimination, which protections are not available to smokers, drinkers, children, redheads, Midwesterners, Democrats, veterans, nudists, etc. Or, to put it another way, should sodomy be elevated to the same constitutional status as race and religion? My answer is No. We have enough special categories, enough victims, without creating even more.” [BuzzFeed, 1/5/2015, Miami Herald, 6/22/1994]

 

  • 2014: Bush Spokesperson: “Gov. Bush Believes That Our Society Should Have A Culture Of Respect For All People, Regardless Of Their Differences, And That Begins With Preventing Discrimination, Including When It Comes To Sexual Orientation.” After some of Bush’s previous views from 1994 on LGBT anti-discrimination policies, including that it creates a new “special category” of victims, were published by BuzzFeed: “In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a spokeswoman for Bush said the governor no longer holds the views in the editorial and would not use the language today. ‘Gov. Bush believes that our society should have a culture of respect for all people, regardless of their differences, and that begins with preventing discrimination, including when it comes to sexual orientation,’ said Kristy Campbell, Bush’s spokeswoman. ‘This opinion editorial from 20 years ago does not reflect Gov. Bush’s views now, nor would he use this terminology today.’” [BuzzFeed, 1/5/2015, Miami Herald, 6/22/1994]

 

2000: Bush Told Constituent Upset With His Appointment Of Openly LGBT Judge: “I Did Not Know She Was Openly Gay. Our Team Doesn’t Ask, Nor Should They Ask, Sexual Preferences In The Interview Process.” According to the Wall Street Journal, in an e-mail, Bush wrote on Feb. 29, 2000 to a man upset about his appointment of a gay judge ‘with a perversionto a circuit court: “‘I did not know she was openly gay. Our team doesn’t ask, nor should they ask sexual preferences in the interview process. P.S. I appreciate your prayers.’” [Wall Street Journal, Washington Wire, 12/26/2014]

 

2004: Bush Suggested To Constituent Laws Existed In Florida To Remedy Violence And Discrimination Against LGBT People, But That He Did Not Think LGBT Relationships Deserved Same Status As Heterosexual Marriages. The Daily Beast reported that Bush had received a letter from a constituent saying the push to ban same-sex marriage made him feel “particularly unequal.” According to the Daily Beast: “Bush responded about a month later. ‘Thank you for writing and I apologize for not responding earlier. The tyranny of the present has gotten me!Bush wrote. ‘I am sensitive to your point of view but respectfully disagree. If there is discrimination, there are remedies. The cases of violence against gay and lesbians are unconscionable and the laws in Florida exist to bring justice.Bush then suggested that Cortada and his partner could be ‘made more permanent through contractual obligations that set forth asset disposition and other issuesbut added that he did not believe their relationship ‘should be afforded the same status in the law as a man and a woman agreeing to marraige [sic].’ ‘The institution of marraige [sic] is under attack in our society and it needs to be strengthened,Bush wrote. ‘This does not have to be at the expense of other kinds of relationships but in support of the most important institution in our society.’” [The Daily Beast, 1/9/2015]

 

2010: Bushs Foundation For Floridas Future Supported State Constitutional Amendment Repealing Ban On Taxpayer Financial Aid To Religious Institutions Over Objections It Would Give Organizations Taxpayer Funding to Discriminate. According to the Associated Press: “A constitutional proposal designed to protect religious school vouchers and other state-funded faith-based programs from legal attack is being revived by the Florida Legislature two years after the state Supreme Court took a similar measure off the ballot…..The proposal would repeal a ban on taxpayer financial aid to churches, sects and other religious institutions similar to provisions in most state constitutions across the nation. It would go a step farther than the previous proposal by prohibiting any other kind of ban on individuals, organizations or other entities ‘participating in any public program because of religion.…Supporters include former Gov. Jeb Bush's Foundation for Florida's Future, the Florida Catholic Conference and Florida Chamber of Commerce. They argue it would support for religious freedom. Opponents, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Florida Education Association, Florida PTA and Anti-Defamation League, contend it would open the public purse to parochial schools and other religious organizations at the expense of public schools. It would include those that discriminate in hiring and espouse bigotry and racism, they said.” [Associated Press, 4/14/2010]

 

Bush Suggested to Potential Employee That he Should Remain Closeted and Follow “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” [ According to the New York Times, in an e-mail to a gay Floridian looking for a job in Bush’s administration who asked if his sexual orientation would be a problem, Bush responded: “‘On the other stuff, don’t ask, don’t tell is fine with me,’ Mr. Bush responded, appropriating the terminology President Bill Clinton used regarding gays in the military. ‘What you do in your private life is your business. If it crosses over into the public policy realm, then that is another matter. If you are comfortable with that, then we can proceed.’” [ New York Times, 12/24/2014] 

 

Bush Said That While He Opposed Anti-LGBT Discrimination, He Did Not Consider Banning Same-Sex Adoption “To Be A Discriminatory Position.” According to the Daily Beast, responding to a constituent who was concerned with Bush’s opposition to same-sex adoption, “Martorell didn’t get the response he wanted, but at least he got one. The governor wrote that he opposed anti-gay discrimination and hate, but didn’t think barring gays from adopting was a type of discrimination. ‘Perhaps our disagreement is that I believe that the creation of life by a husband and wife and the creation of a family from that should be something that is protected and treated differently than other family strutures [sic],’ he wrote. ‘I don't believe that this is a discriminatory position.’” [The Daily Beast, 5/22/2015

 

Bush Said Business Owners Should “Absolutely” Be Able To Deny Services To LGBT People If It’s “Based On A Religious Belief” And That A “Tolerant” Country Should Be Able To Figure This Out. CBN reported that “In an exclusive one-on-one interview with The Brody File, Jeb Bush says Christian business owners should be able to deny services to same-sex couples based on their religious beliefs. Bush makes the distinction between a Christian business owner being forced to provide a service rather than just selling a gay customer a product….. ‘Yes, absolutely if it's based on a religious belief. 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. We should be able to figure this out. This should not be that complicated gosh it is right now.’” [CBN, The Brody File, 5/17/2015; VIDEO] 

 

Bush Attacked White House For “Aggressive Stance Against” Religious Freedom. CBS reported that “Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush attacked the White House for what he characterized as an ‘aggressive stance against’ religious freedom during a commencement address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. ‘As usual, the present administration is supporting the use of coercive federal power,’ Bush, who is weighing a White House bid in 2016, told Liberty's graduating class Saturday. ‘What should be easy calls, in favor of religious freedom, have instead become an aggressive stance against it.’” [CBS News, 5/9/2015, Liberty University, 5/9/2015; VIDEO] 

 

Bush Advisor Sekulow Told Faith And Freedom Coalition That Bush Was The First To Stand With Gov. Pence “In Doing The Right Thing” And Supports “Traditional Marriage.” According to Politico, at Faith and Freedom Coalition in Waukee, IA, “Jeb Bush skipped the cattle call – this crowd is unlikely to go for him in the caucuses – but sent a surrogate to speak for him. Jordan Sekulow told the room that ‘Gov. Bush supports traditional marriage.’ ‘He was the first of the potential candidates to say, ‘I stand with Gov. Pence in doing the right thing,’’ said Sekulow, who added that a Bush Justice Department would protect religious freedom.” [Politico, 4/26/2015

 

Bush Said Utah’s Anti-Discrimination Bill Was “A Better Approach Than Indiana’s RFRA, “But I Do Fear That Certain Freedoms [That] Have Historically Been Part Of Our DNA As A Country Now Are Being Challenged And I don’t Think It’s Appropriate.” The New York Times reported that “He stressed at the fund-raiser that he wasn’t criticizing Mr. Pence, but he said that the ‘better approach’ would have been “consensus-oriented,” like the effort in red-state Utah, where gay rights advocates and the Mormon Church negotiated the particulars of an antidiscrimination bill. ‘They figured it out and they passed a law,’ Mr. Bush said. ‘And there wasn’t a bunch of, you know, yelling and screaming. That to me seems like a better approach to dealing with this.’ ‘But I do fear that certain freedoms,’ he continued, that ‘have historically been part of our DNA as a country now are being challenged and I don’t think it’s appropriate.’” [New York Times, 4/1/2015

 

Bush Said “We Need To Have Space For People To Act On Their Conscience…..Religious Freedom Is A Core Value In Our Country” But “We Shouldn’t Discriminate Based On Sexual Orientation.” The New York Times reported that, speaking to Silicon Valley donors following Bush’s comments supporting Indiana’s right to discriminate RFRA on Hugh Hewitt, “[a]t the Four Seasons in East Palo Alto, Mr. Bush was asked by an attendee to clarify his position. He said that he supported protecting religious freedom and that it must be done specifically in each state. ‘By the end of the week, I think Indiana will be in the right place, which is to say that we need in a big diverse country like America, we need to have space for people to act on their conscience, that it is a constitutional right that religious freedom is a core value of our country,’ Mr. Bush said. But ‘we shouldn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation,’ he said. He continued, ‘So what the State of Indiana is going to end up doing is probably get to that place.’” [New York Times, 4/1/2015

 

Bush Said Governor Pence Did “The Right Thing” By Signing Indiana Right To Discriminate RFRA, Said If Critics “Got Briefed On This Law, They Wouldn’t Be Blasting This Law.” In an interview with Hugh Hewitt, Bush said, ““I think if they actually got briefed on the law that they wouldn’t be blasting this law. I think Governor Pence has done the right thing. Florida has a law like this. Bill Clinton signed a law like this at the federal level. This is simply allowing people of faith space to be able to express their beliefs, to be able to be people of conscience. I think once the facts are established people aren’t going to see this as discriminatory at all.” [Hugh Hewitt, 3/30/2015; AUDIO] 

 

Bush: Indiana Right To Discriminate RFRA “Is Really An Important Value…Where You Can Respect And Be Tolerant Of People’s Lifestyles But Allow For People Of Faith To Exercise Theirs.” Discussing Indiana’s Right To Discriminate RFRA Bill with Hugh Hewitt, Bush said that while there were no instances of LGBT people being denied service, “But there are incidents of people who, for example, the florist in Washington state who had a business that, based on her conscience, she couldn’t be participating in a gay wedding, organizing it, even though the person, one of the people was a friend of hers. And she was taken to Court and is still in Court. Or the photographer in New Mexico. There are many cases where people acting on their conscience have been castigated by the government. And this law simply says the government has to have a level of a burden to be able to establish that there’s been some kind of discrimination. We’re going to need this. This is really an important value for our country to, in a diverse country, where you can respect and be tolerant of people’s lifestyles but allow for people of faith to be able to exercise theirs.” [Hugh Hewitt, 3/30/2015; AUDIO] 

 

Bush Supported Georgia RFRA Religious Liberty Bill, Citing Pending Supreme Court Decision On Marriage Equality As Reason For Support Of Bill. The Washington Blade reported that while speaking to reporters on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol, Bush said, “‘I don’t know about the law, but religious freedom is a serious issue, and it’s increasingly so, and I think people that act on their conscience shouldn’t be discriminated against, for sure,’ Bush said. ‘There should be protections, and so, as it relates to marriage equality — and that may change, the Supreme Court may change that. That automatically then shifts the focus to people of conscience, and, I don’t know, have their faith make — they want to act on their faith, and may not be able to be employed for example.’” [Washington Blade, 3/20/2015]

 

Bush Said “I Don’t Think You Should Be Discriminated Because Of Your Sexual Orientation. Period. Over And Out,” But Then Said It Should Be Done State-By-State And Did Not Endorse Federal Anti-Discrimination Legislation. According to TIME: “An employee who identified himself to Bush as being gay asked about Bush’s position on legislation to ban discrimination of LGBT Americans. ‘I don’t think you should be discriminated because of your sexual orientation. Period. Over and out,’ he replied. Bush continued: “The fact that there wasn’t a law doesn’t necessarily mean you would have been discriminated against.” He added that in the wake of the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, the country must work to carefully balance the rights of those seeking to marry and the religious beliefs of those who oppose those unions.” […] “When the employee followed up to ask specifically whether he would support anti-discrimination laws for LGBT Americans for their housing and employment—the next target for gay rights marriage advocates—Bush said he would at the state level. ‘I think this should be done state-by-state, I totally agree with that,’ he said.” [TIME, 7/16/2015]

 

Bush Said “The Fact That There Wasn’t A Law Doesn’t Necessarily Mean You Would Have Been Discriminated Against” When Asked About LGBT Discrimination Protections. “An employee who identified himself to Bush as being gay asked about Bush’s position on legislation to ban discrimination of LGBT Americans. ‘I don’t think you should be discriminated because of your sexual orientation. Period. Over and out,’ he replied. Bush continued: ‘The fact that there wasn’t a law doesn’t necessarily mean you would have been discriminated against.’ He added that in the wake of the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, the country must work to carefully balance the rights of those seeking to marry and the religious beliefs of those who oppose those unions.” [TIME, 7/16/2015]

 

  • Asked If Bush Opposed Federal Legislation Protecting LGBT Workers, Spokesperson Said Bush Believed “This Issue Should Be Left To The States.” Speaking Thursday in San Francisco at Thumbtack, a firm that helps consumers find services, Bush said flatly: ‘I don't think you should be discriminated because of your sexual orientation. Period. Over and out,’ as Time magazine reported. But when pressed by an employee who identified himself as gay about whether he would support legislation barring such discrimination in employment and housing, Bush said: ‘I think this should be done state by state, I totally agree with that.’ Asked if that response meant Bush opposed federal legislation to provide workplace protections for gays and transgender workers, a campaign spokesperson said, ‘Governor Bush's answer speaks for itself. He believes this issue should be left to states.’” [National Journal, 7/17/2015]

 

Bush Said A Florist Should Be Allowed To Refused To Sell Flowers To A Same-Sex Couple If It Was For Their Wedding But Still Shouldn’t Create An Environment That Discriminates Based On Sexual Orientation. “‘This is a foundational freedom of our country ... the president should have not just the right but the duty to explain why this is a threat to not just religious freedoms but other freedoms,’ Bush said, referencing the ramifications of the Supreme Court's recent ruling on same-sex marriage. ‘You take this freedom away, it's very easy to imagine other freedoms being taken away.’…. The concept of religious liberty is front and center in the national conscience after the ruling, which prevent states from banning same-sex marriage or not recognizing such marriages licensed in other states. The ruling should not be a way to force religious businesses to participate in same-sex weddings, Bush said. He argued its discrimination for a florist to refuse to sell flowers to someone because they're gay, but that florist should be allowed to refuse to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. "We don't want to create an environment that discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation, and we certainly don't want to discriminate against people that believe that their faith drives their actions and the things that they consider to be important,’ Bush said. ‘That balance is what we need to find.’” [Tennessean, 8/4/2015]

 

Bush Said “The President Should Have Not Just The Right But The Duty To Explain Why Thiis A Threat To Not Just Religious Freedoms But Other Freedoms” And Committed To Appoint Judges Who Would Protect Religious Liberty. The Tennessean reported that in a meeting with Southern Baptists, “‘This is a foundational freedom of our country ... the president should have not just the right but the duty to explain why this is a threat to not just religious freedoms but other freedoms,’ Bush said, referencing the ramifications of the Supreme Court's recent ruling on same-sex marriage. ‘You take this freedom away, it's very easy to imagine other freedoms being taken away.’…. In his pre-recorded interview, Rubio promised to protect religious liberty if elected president through appointing Supreme Court justices and picking an attorney general ready to defend people’s ability to live by their religious standards. Bush echoed those promises.” [Tennessean, 8/4/2015]


Significant Findings on Rhetoric and Intolerance

  • Called LGBT Rights Movement “modern victims movement”
     

  • Made crude joke about lesbians during missing child case

 

  • Called marriage, adoptions and partner benefits for LGBT Americans “special rights”

 

 

Bush Called The LGBT Rights Movement A “Modern Victims Movement.” In his book, Bush wrote: “Since the 1960s, the politics of victimization has steadily intensified. Being a victim gives rise to certain entitlements, benefits, and preferences in society. The surest way to get something in todays society is to elevate ones status to that of the oppressed. Many of the modern victim movements – the gay rights movement, the feminist movement, the black empowerment movement – have attempted to get people to view themselves as part of a smaller group deserving of something from society. It is a major deviation from the society envisioned by Martin Luther King, who would have had people judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin – or sexual preference or gender or ethnicity. Eventually there will come a time when everybody will be able to claim some status as a victim of society, leaving few in society who will actually be considered the victimizers. Who, then, will be left to blame in a world in which it is victim against victim?” [Jeb Bush, Profiles in Character, p. 59-60, 1995]

 

2002: Bush Mocked “Juicy Details” Of Missing Child Case By Implying Sisters Involved Were Actually Lesbians. According to Salon, after two sisters were arrested for fraud in the disappearance of a six –year-old girl, “News of their arrest prompted Bush to tantalize GOP lawmakers at a Wednesday meeting with what he called ‘juicy detailsabout the women — who he implied were not sisters at all, but rather a lesbian couple. ‘As [Geralyn Graham] was being arrested,Bush told the Panhandle lawmakers, ‘she told her co-workers, ‘Tell my wife Ive been arrested.The wife is the grandmother, and the aunt is the husband.Bush added gestures, using his fingers to make quotation marks as he emphasized the word ‘grandmother.’ ‘Bet you dont get that in Pensacola,Bush added for flourish, apparently not realizing that a reporter with Gannett Regional Newspapers of Florida was in the room. His comments were first reported in Wednesdays editions of the Pensacola News-Journal, and soon made the rounds of media across the state.” [Salon, 10/5/2002]

 

2003: A Bush Spokeswoman Said, “The Governor Does Not Support Extending Special Rights To Specific Groups. He Is Opposed To Same-Sex Marriages, Gay Adoptions And The Extension Of Domestic-Partners Benefits.” According to the Orlando Sentinel, “Florida Gov. Jeb Bush agrees with the Vatican's stand on marriage and adoption by gays, a spokeswoman said. ‘The governor does not support extending special rights to specific groups. He is opposed to same-sex marriages, gay adoptions and the extension of domestic-partners benefits,spokeswoman Jill Bratina said.” [Orlando Sentinel, 10/1/2003]

 

Bush Hired Jordan Sekulow Of The American Center For Law And Justice To Perform Outreach to Evangelical Voters. According to MSNBC,“Late Friday, prominent evangelical attorney Jordan Sekulow announced that he had signed on as senior adviser to Bush’s Right to Rise political action committee. Sekulow, the 32-year-old executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), is notorious within LGBT advocacy circles for his support of anti-gay legislation abroad, particularly in Africa, where he has worked to keep homosexuality a criminal offense.” [MSNBC, 3/13/2015]

  • Sekulow Traveled To Africa To Push Agenda Banning Same-Sex Marriage And Making Being LGBT Criminal Activity. According to the Daily Beast, “In 2012, when Sekulow and his father, Jay, chief counsel for the ACLJ and geriatric rocker, were advising the Romney campaign, it was reported by Mother Jones’ Andy Kroll that the pair had opened their own ACLJ offices in Africa to lobby local officials. In Zimbabwe, where homosexuality was outlawed in 2006, they ‘pushed an agenda that backs outlawing same-sex marriage and making sure that homosexuality ‘remain[s] a criminal activity.’’ The younger Sekulow, the publication reported, traveled to Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, to lobby officials in person. The father-son duo made similar anti-gay lobbying efforts in Russia.” [The Daily Beast, 3/15/2015

 

  • 2010: The ACLJ Established An East African Office In Nairobi To Lobby Politicians To “Take The Christian Views Into Consideration As They Draft Legislation And Policy." “Lobbying the County Assemblies, National Assembly and the Senate to take the Christian's views into consideration as they draft legislation and policies. The aim is to promote policies and legislation that are good for Kenya as a whole, and are as inclusive as possible.” [“About Us,” East African Center for Law and Justice, accessed 2/20/2014 [eaclj.org]]

 

  • After Failing To Defeat Kenya’s Constitution The ACLJ Promised To Go To Court And To “Carry Out Further Civic Education To Warn People Of The Dangers Of Homosexuality.” “Yet even these minor concessions to protecting LGBT persons and women’s lives cannot stand, according to the director of the East African Center for Law and Justice. ‘The current constitution promotes gay rights and abortion,’ Joy Mdivo, the executive director, told PRA. ‘We are working on going to court over those two issues. We shall also carry out further civic education to warn people of the dangers of homosexuality and abortion in Kenya.’” [Political Research Associates, 11/5/2012, Miami Herald, 6/22/1994]

 

  • ACLJ Zimbabwe Materials Called For Homosexuality To “Remain A Criminal Offense.” “The EFZ/ACLJ pamphlet also calls for constitutional prohibitions on both abortion, by defining life as ‘beginning at conception,’ and on attempts to reform the country’s laws criminalizing homosexuality. It calls for defining marriage ‘as being between a man and a woman’ and for ‘any and all definitions of a family or marriages or relationships or legal unions that seek to include or permit same-sex unions to be prohibited,’ as well as for ‘sexual relations between partners of the same-sex, bestiality, and other perversions to remain a criminal activity.’” [Religion Dispatches, 8/1/2010

 

Significant Findings on Bullying and Adoption

  • Opposed adoption by LGBT parents
     

  • Said he wouldn’t support same-sex adoption because he did not want to endorse “the lifestyle”

 

  • Praised ruling that kept law in place banning adoptions from LGBT couples

 

  • Expressed generic support for “nontraditional family”

 

  • After Florida’s state ban on same-sex adoptions was struck down, Bush said he respected the decision from the Court

 

  • Set up Commission on Bullying after student committed suicide

 

2003: A Bush Spokeswoman Said, “The Governor Does Not Support Extending Special Rights To Specific Groups….Gay Adoptions And The Extension Of Domestic-Partners Benefits.” According to the Orlando Sentinel: “Florida Gov. Jeb Bush agrees with the Vatican's stand on marriage and adoption by gays, a spokeswoman said. ‘The governor does not support extending special rights to specific groups. He is opposed to same-sex marriages, gay adoptions and the extension of domestic-partners benefits,spokeswoman Jill Bratina said.” [Orlando Sentinel, 10/1/2003]

 

2004: Bush Praised Court Opinion Upholding Ban On Same-Sex Adoptions, Saying,“It Is In The Best Interest Of Adopted Children….To Be Placed In A Home Anchored Both By A Mother And Father.” After a 2004 ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding Floridas right to discriminate against same-sex couples wishing to adopt children, the Orlando Sentinel reported: “Gov. Jeb Bush praised the ruling, saying it ‘validates Florida's conclusion that it is in the best interest of adopted children, many of whom come from troubled and unstable backgrounds, to be placed in a home anchored both by a mother and father.’” [Orlando Sentinel, 1/29/2004

 

Bush Defended Same-Sex Adoption Ban In Filings To Supreme Court. According to the Associated Press, in an article on the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear a challenge to Florida’s same-sex adoption ban, “Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has maintained that the children, often products of troubled and unstable backgrounds, should have a father and a mother. ‘It is rational to believe that children need male and female influences to develop optimally, particularly in the areas of sexual and gender identity, and heterosexual role modeling,’ justices were told in a filing by Florida's attorney, Casey Walker.” [Associated Press, 1/10/2005]

 

Bush Told Constituent That While He Has “Not Been A Vocal Opponent Of The Gay And Lesbian Lifestyle, I Am Not In Favor Of Lifting The Ban” On Same-Sex Adoption Because That Would Indicate Endorsement By The State Of “This Particular Lifestyle.” According to ABC: “The emails show Bush dealing with the issue of gay adoption in the state. An aide drafts a response to a constituent over the issue, writing, ‘While I respect the great diversity of our state, and have not been a vocal opponent of the gay and lesbian lifestyle, I am not in favor of lifting the ban on gay and lesbian adoptions.The letter continues, saying, ‘I do not believe it is for the state to encourage or endorse this particular lifestyle. So long as it is within the bounds of the law, people may be free to do what they wish in their own private and personal affairs. However, when those activities require state approval and oversight, then that consistutes [sic] an explicit endorsement of the activity by the state,the letter ends with Bush saying he respects his constituentsviewpoints, but he disagrees. He then forwards the letter to close aide Sally Bradshaw writing, ‘i need your opinion on this soon.’” [ABC News, 12/31/2014]

 

Bush: “Families Dont Look All The Time Like They Used To, And Thats Okay. We Have To Be Supportive Of….The Nontraditional Family.” At Faith and Freedom Coalitions “Road to the Majority” Conference, Politico reported that during a discussion of immigration: “Bush also spoke about the importance of reclaiming the idea of ‘family’—uand recognizing that some families are ‘nontraditional.Let me remind you, families dont look all the time like they used to, and thats ok,he said. ‘We have to be supportive of a single mom or dad, or the grandmother taking care of young children, the nontraditional family.’” [Politico, 6/14/2013]

 

Bush: “A Loving Family Taking Care Of Their Children In A Traditional Marriage” Will Have Better Chance Of Getting Out Of Poverty Than Any Government Program. According to the Associated Press: “Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan courted some of Wall Street's most powerful political benefactors on Monday, insisting that love, friendship and ‘traditional marriagecan combat poverty better than government programs…..Bush, the son of one president and brother of another, called for more welcoming immigration policies, while offering his own poverty prescription: ‘A loving family taking care of their children in a traditional marriage will create the chance to break out of poverty far better, far better than any of the government programs that we can create.’” [Associated Press, 5/12/2014]

 

Bush Said That Though He Previously Opposed Same-Sex Adoption, “It Has Since Become The Law In Our State And I Respect That Decision.” According to the Tampa Bay Times: “‘Previously, I opposed gay adoption, but it has since become the law in our state and I respect that decision,’‘Bush said. For many activists on both sides, these statements will likely offer little comfort or quiet any controversy. Bush isn't saying he supports either issue. But he's not fighting them, either.” [Tampa Bay Times, The Buzz, 1/5/2015]

 

Bush Responded To Mother Of Son Who Committed Suicide Due To Anti-LGBT Cyber-Bullying And Received Immediate Response And Commission Set Up By The Weekend. After Jeff Johnston committed suicide following anti-LGBT cyber bullying, According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel: “[Jeffs Mom] and school officials tried everything to stop it - talking to the bully, his family, the authorities - but they continually ran into a brick wall: Cyberbullying wasn't a crime, and bullying wasn't taken seriously…..It was only when then-Gov. Jeb Bush heard Jeff's story, and saw firsthand the bully's all-too-open blog of hate, that Florida began to adopt a new attitude on bullying. In a fit of rage on a sleepless night, Johnston wrote the governor an email. She was surprised to receive an almost-immediate response from the man himself, who by the end of the weekend had engaged his education commissioner in a campaign to put a stop to such ugliness.” [Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 9/18/2011] 

 

Bush Did Not Know Whether State Allowed Same-Sex Foster Parents When Drafting Response Disapproving Of Same-Sex Adoption. According to the Daily Beast, Bush staffers debated responding to a constituent email asking for Bush to change his position opposing same-sex adoption. Following a proposed response saying Bush did not believe “it is appropriate for the state to sanction this particular lifestyle,” “Sally Bradshaw, perhaps Bush’s most trusted aide, then weighed in on Yablonski’s proposed response. ‘I am concerned about the obvious inconsistency in the fact that we allow gay couples to become foster parents, but not to adopt children,’ she wrote. ‘Don't we?’ Bush’s reply was confused. ‘I didn't think we allowed gay couples to be foster parents,’ he wrote. ‘Or maybe it is adoption.’ Bradshaw then emailed, ‘Don’t you remember the info about [Kathleen Kearney, then-secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families] presenting an award to a gay couple for being stellar foster parents? That’s why this is problematic.’ Yablonski then cleared up that the state had a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy on gay foster parenting, and that as a result children were placed with gay foster parents.” Bush did not respond to the e-mail. [The Daily Beast, 5/22/2015]

 


Significant Findings on President Obama's LGBT Executive Orders

  • Committed to repealing President Obama's executive orders
     

 

 

 Bush Said One Of His Top Five Priorities For His First Hundred Days In Office Was “Undoing What The President Has Done [By Executive Order] Using Authority He Doesn’t Have.” Asked by Sean Hannity at CPAC what his top five priorities would be if he became President, Bush responded as his first priority “undoing by executive order, undoing what the President has done using authority he doesn’t have.” [CPAC 2015, 2/27/2015]