Charlie Crist, the always surprising former governor of Florida, put his neck out for marriage equality this week.
Crist, who is running to be governor again, filed an amicus brief ("friend of the court") in support of the same-sex couples in Pareto v. Ruvin. The case involves six same-sex couples fighting for marriage equality in Florida. A hearing on the case is set for July 2 in Miami.
Crist acknowledged in the brief that he once supported the state's ban on marriage equality, but now believes it's harmful to Florida and the gay couples that live in the state. Crist himself has evolved from a Republican to an Independent to a Democrat. He left the governor's office in 2011; he had hoped to be elected to the Senate but lost to Tea Party candidate and rising GOP star Marco Rubio.
"In just the last six years, our society has evolved and moved past the prejudices rooted in our past," Crist said in a statement. "Further, science has uniformly reached the conclusion that heterosexual marriages are just as valued and revered as they have ever been, and children raised by gay and lesbian parents fare just as well as kids raised in straight families."
Crist joins the mayors of Orlando and Miami Beach in publicly advocating for marriage equality.