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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — The former governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, said Monday that he respects a court ruling that allows same-sex couples to wed for the first time in the Sunshine State.

The potential Republican presidential contender and longtime opponent of gay marriage weighed in Monday as Miami-Dade County started issuing marriage licenses to lesbian and gay couples. A circuit court judge lifted a stay on her July ruling that Florida’s same-sex marriage ban violates equal protections under the U.S. Constitution.

“We live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law,” Bush said in a statement.

Bush also called for respect for those on both sides of the issue, including committed gay couples and “those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty.”

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