TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — Amid speculation he will run as a Democrat for his old job, former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday said he supports allowing same-sex marriage.
In a message posted on his Facebook page, Crist described as “great news” a decision by Delaware officials to become the 11th state to allow same-sex marriage.
“I most certainly support marriage equality in Florida and look forward to the day it happens here,” Crist said in the message, initially reported by the political site SaintPetersblog.
Crist hinted at the position in December, after becoming a registered Democrat. He said at the time that he regretted signing a petition in support of a 2008 ballot initiative that put a ban on same-sex marriage in the state Constitution.
The Republican Party of Florida blasted Crist after the December comments, sending out an email that said he was trying to have it “both ways.”
“Once again, Charlie Crist is showing he has two faces on any issue,” the GOP said in the December email. “When Charlie Crist wanted Republican (and Independent!) support, he took a strong, pro-family stance against legalizing gay marriage. But today, he flipped yet again.”
Crist, who unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010 instead of seeking a second term in the governor’s office, joined other politicians who recently have changed stances to support same-sex marriage. Among the most notable have been President Barack Obama and Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman.
It remains uncertain whether Crist will run next year against Republican Gov. Rick Scott. But Crist has taken steps for months to boost his visibility and support among Democrats, including playing a prominent role campaigning for Obama last year.
“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”