DUBUQUE, Iowa. (Christian Examiner) -- Religious freedom again took centerstage in the political arena over the weekend when likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush spoke in support of Christian business owners and their right to deny services for gay weddings.
In an interview on Christian Broadcasting Network's The Brody File, Bush "absolutely" supported the right of Christian businesses to decline services for same-sex weddings that violate their faith practices. "If it's based on a religious belief," he explained.
"It's not just that people of faith have their views, they need the space to act on their conscience," he noted in commenting about the state of religious freedom in America.
Citing the example of the elderly Washington state florist who was ordered by a judge to participate in a same-sex wedding or pay fines that could lead to her bankruptcy, Bush clarified the difference between a business owner refusing to provide a service to an individual and denying service for a ceremony that conflicts with a religious conviction.
"A big country, a tolerant country ought to be able to figure out the difference between discriminating someone because of their sexual orientation and not forcing someone to participate in a wedding that they find goes against their moral beliefs," Bush told The Brody File. "We should be able to figure this out. This should not be that complicated as it is right now."
In addition to the religious freedom issue, Bush expressed his support of traditional marriage.
"We have to restore committed, loving family life with a mom and dad loving their children with their heart and soul," he said.