Likely GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush on Thursday said he supports legislation that would allow businesses and individuals to refuse services on the basis their religious beliefs.
The bills, proposed in more than two dozen states, are widely seen as an effort to license discrimination against LGBT people since the rapid advancement of marriage equality across the country.
The former Florida governor made the remarks on the steps of the Georgia Statehouse when asked about the legislation pending in that state, but his response — which was often convoluted — was broad enough to apply to all such bills everywhere.
“I don’t know about the law, but religious freedom is a serious issue, and it’s increasingly so, and I think people that act on their conscience shouldn’t be discriminated against, for sure,” Bush said. “There should be protections, and so, as it relates to marriage equality — and that may change, the Supreme Court may change that. That automatically then shifts the focus to people of conscience, and, I don’t know, have their faith make — they want to act on their faith, and may not be able to be employed for example.”
The former Florida governor added, “People have a right to do that, just as we need to be respectful for people who are in long-term committed relationships. Sorting that out is important.”
Last week, Bush’s “Right to Rise” PAC hired religious fundamentalist Jordan Sekulow as a senior adviser.
Sekulow’s lobbying work is said to have contributed to the criminalization of LGBT people under the brutal regime of Zimbabwe Dictator Robert Mugabe.