The Jeb Bush Of 1994: “Sodomy Should Not Be Elevated To Constitutional Status”

The Jeb Bush Of 1994: “Sodomy Should Not Be Elevated To Constitutional Status”

With Jeb Bush’s impending decision of whether or not to run for president in 2016, Buzzfeed is on a research mission to better understand who this Bush man is.

They found this op-ed penned by Jeb during his first run for governor of Florida.

The Miami Herald
June 22, 1994 — Wednesday


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.

It is disingenuous of you to write that “the governor must stand up for and represent all the people of the Sunshine State on all matters.” 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.

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.

Jeb Bush
Coral Gables

A statement from a Bush spokesman said this:

“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.

“This opinion editorial from 20 years ago does not reflect Gov. Bush’s views now, nor would he use this terminology today.”