Jeb Bush on Thursday said that Kentucky clerk Kim Davis “is sworn to uphold the law,” and that there should be a way for people to stay true to their beliefs while still allowing same-sex couples to get married.
“It seems to me that there ought to be common ground, there ought to be a big enough space for her to act on her conscience, and for now that the law is the law of the land, for a gay couple to be married in whatever jurisdiction that is,” Bush told reporters after a town hall event in New Hampshire, according to Buzzfeed News. “I’m a little confused about why that can’t be done.”
“It’s being done all across the country and it’s a sign of leadership to be able to make that climate,” he continued.
The former Florida governor said that states should be able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples while still allowing individuals to follow their beliefs. He said that “we shouldn’t be pushing people out of the public square if they have deeply held views, nor should we discriminate against people, particularly after this court ruling as it relates to sexual orientation, so I think there ought to be a way to figure this out,” according to Buzzfeed News.
He suggested that clerks be able to opt out of certain duties while still keeping their jobs if they have deeply held religious beliefs.
“There are ways that other places are looking at it, which is to say you don’t have to exercise this responsibility, we’ll have someone else in the office do it, so that you can maintain your religious conscience, which I think is appropriate, but people have the right to get a certificate of marriage,” he said.
Davis was taken into custody on Thursday after she was found in contempt of court for repeatedly refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.