MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s largest gay rights group has endorsed Democrat Charlie Crist for governor.
Equality Florida officials made the announcement Thursday at a lesbian and gay visitors center in Miami Beach. The endorsement is a boon for Crist, who still faces some skepticism from Democratic activists who consider his political conversion dubious.
When he ran for governor eight years ago as a Republican, Crist opposed gay marriage. In 2010, when he ran for U.S. Senate as an independent, he declared his support for civil unions. Now, running for his old job as a Democrat, Crist says he backs same-sex marriage and supports legal efforts to overturn Florida’s ban.
Republican Gov. Rick Scott has said he supports the state’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
The matter could become a wedge issue in a state where a majority of voters now back gay marriage.