What in Hell Is Charlie Crist Trying to Say About Gay Marriage?

We're of two theories about Charlie Crist's latest string of "clarifications" (or flip-flops) on some positions: (1) The guy doesn't know what he actually believes and is being as vague as possible to attract as many voters as possible. (2) He has always personally held these positions, altered them to fit in with the GOP, and is now tripping over his tongue trying to clarify how he actually feels.

Take his recent nonposition on gay marriage. He's apparently a big supporter of gay couples "living together," which wasn't much of a political issue anyway.

Crist was on CNN this past Sunday, and here's what he had to say about gay marriage, according to Naked Politics:

"I feel the same way, yes, because I feel that marriage is a sacred institution, if you will. But I do believe in tolerance. I'm a live and let live kind of guy, and while I feel that way about marriage, I think if partners want to have the opportunity to live together, I don't have a problem with that.

"And I think that's where most of America is. So I think that you know, you have to speak from the heart about these issues. They are very personal. They have a significant impact on an awful lot of people and the less the government is telling people what to do, the better off we're all going to be. But when it comes to marriage, I think it is a sacred institution. I believe it is between a man and woman, but partners living together, I don't have a problem with."

What does that even mean? The ability of gay couples living together has never, ever been a political issue. Gay couples have been sharing a roof since long before Bert and Ernie bought their bachelor pad on West Sesame Street, and no laws prohibiting them from doing so has ever been seriously proposed.

Crist's statement was so murky that his campaign had to issue a clarification:

"I was not discussing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning same-sex marriage, which I do not support, but rather reaffirming my position regarding Florida's constitutional ban that I articulated while running for governor."

That doesn't clarify much. For one thing, Florida's constitutional ban on gay marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships wasn't voted on until 2008, and Crist didn't speak much publicly about it then.

From his quote about "living together," we think maybe he's trying to support some form of civil unions or domestic partnerships, but those were banned by Amendment 2 in 2008 in Florida. So who knows what in hell Crist means.

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