At a campaign event in San Francisco, GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush said he supported workplace protections for LGBT folks, but only on a state-by-state level.
“I don’t think you should be discriminated [against] because of your sexual orientation. Period. Over and out,” he told the worker. “I think this should be done state-by-state. I totally agree with that.”
Moving on to the topic of same-sex marriage, Bush tried to walk a fine line between appeasing conservatives who support “religious freedom” laws that would allow business to refuse to serve LGBT customers by citing their religious beliefs and opponents who see it as legalized discrimination. Bush has previously said that following the Supreme Court’s ruling in June that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States, the matter is settled and Republicans should move on from the issue.
Bush thinks the nation should find a way to “balance the rights of those seeking to marry and the religious beliefs of those who oppose those unions,” according to a Time magazine report on the campaign event.
But the candidate also gave himself some wiggle room when discussing the proposed laws. Using the example of a florist asked to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding, clearly expressed his opinion that they should not be used to blatantly discriminate, saying “You should be obligated to sell them flowers. Doing otherwise would be discriminatory.”
Later, Bush pulled back a bit on that statement saying that a florist shouldn’t have to “participate” in a same-sex wedding if they didn’t want to. He didn’t clarify what he considered “participating.”