Florida’s Charlie Crist Apologizes for Anti-Gay Positions, Promises Equality as Governor

Former governor and current Florida gubernatorial candidate and Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist gave an interview this week to Tom Dyer at Watermark Online in which he apologized for anti-gay legislation he has supported in the past and also made some promises for the future.

CristWhen you first ran for governor in 2006, you said that a ban on same-sex marriage was unnecessary, but then you signed a petition to place Amendment 2 [banning same-sex marriage] on the ballot…

…and I’m sorry. I’m sorry I did that. It was a mistake. I was wrong. Please forgive me.

I appreciate that, but I want to make sure I spell this out in full. After you signed the petition you said Amendment 2 wasn’t an issue that moved you, but then you ended up voting for it, saying you believed in it. Just three years ago, when you were running for the Senate as a Republican, you told CNN that you believed that “marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman.” And just three years ago, when talking about gay adoption, you expressed a belief that traditional families are best…

Tom… I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

Well again, I appreciate that. But I think it’s important for you to address this. When you look back at the circumstances, one could come to the conclusion that your shifts in opinion were either politically expedient…

They were. They were. And it was wrong. That’s what I’m telling you. And I’m sorry.

Later, Crist made some promises:

What you would do to advance LGBT equality as governor? Rep. Linda Stewart just introduced a bill to create a statewide Domestic Partner Registry. Given the progress made in other states it seems like a small thing, but even that faces many hurdles in the Republican-controlled State Legislature. The Competitive Workforce Act—an employment non-discrimination bill—can’t get out of committee. Marriage Equality seems a long way off, unless through some sort of court action. What can you do?

I want to do all those things. It’s not complicated. It comes down to one word: fairness. Everybody deserves to be treated fairly.

It must be liberating to be able to speak from your heart, instead of through some political calculus…

It’s wonderful! I wish I’d done it 20 years ago! Can’t you feel it?

CharlieCrist.com makes no mention of LGBT equality right now. Will that change?


It won’t be sort of a subterranean thing that you trot out for appropriate groups?

Do I look like I’m holding back? We’re not underwater with this… we’re riding the wave!

Read more of the interview at Watermark


  1. Gregory In Seattle says

    He has shown himself, time and again, to care only about public opinion polls and grabbing power. He is as changeable as a windsock in a storm front, and has the moral backbone of a sea slug.

  2. Muscular says

    Is he out of the closet yet? He is speaking from the heart about everything except his sexual orientation.

  3. Mike says

    Ha! Instead of Crist it should be CRISP! Continue to hold that closet case’s feet to the fire . . .

  4. dixichuk says

    politics is always a choice of the better evil. He is here to help us now. We in Florida do not want another Rick Scott. Our state could easily go full Ted Cruz. The Cubans hate us, the retirees hate us, and the gun toting rednecks do, as well. We can throw a great party in Miami, but we don’t have much clout. The other potential candidates do not have personalities to get elected. Maybe someone will come along. Dwelling on the past won’t get us into the future.

  5. Gregory In Seattle says

    @dixichuk – The lesser evil is still evil. The Democratic Party’s willingness to support evil rather than demand good is a big reason why the United States is in such trouble.

    Anyway, if I were a voter in Florida, I would much rather have a dependable enemy as governor than someone with a proven track record of betrayal and incompetence.

  6. John Normile says

    Perhaps he should say I’m sorry to his boyfriend… Slimy, closet case, big time hypocrite.

  7. Critifur says

    My mother and I were just talking about him… There has to be someone that wil step up and run against that crook Scott. Alex Sink, please run again. I cannot in good conscience support Charlie Crist. I do not understand how my party can be supporting him, Every Dem thinks he is awful, but our only choice. NO NO NO NO NO!

  8. chasmader says

    Charlie, you need to come out. I promise you, you’ll feel much better about yourself and people will probably respect you more.

  9. RonCharles says

    Florida Governor Rick Scott is one of the most homophobic politicians in the entire USA. Former Governor Charlie Crist is the one candidate who has an excellent chance to beat him in the upcoming election. To not support Crist would be stupid beyond belief!

  10. Buckie says

    He’s not a fool, the Supreme Court is probably going to kick several states legislative and judicial butts for passing unconstitutional laws persecuting GLBT people, and public perception is changing rapidly. He sees the writing on the wall and wants a future career.

    All politics is the strategy of incrementally less evils. It’s evolutionary. It works, slowly, gradually. The alternative is what ? Bloody revolution ? That’s a right-wing crackpot wet-dream.

    Working together is what makes change; if change isn’t happening fast enough for you, you are not working with enough people.

    Get off the internet and get busy !

  11. Marilyn Moore says

    Glad he got off the Republican party ticket…Two sided two faced as he is that’s what the other party does against it then for it…..What they know best can’t take a stand and have morals at all…

  12. Joe in Ct says

    I wish him luck. Outside of Miami, Key West and a few other communities, like Fort Lauderdale, Florida seems pretty much like the rest of the Republican, anti-gay south. It may be changing, slowly. Maybe this guy can make a difference.