Jimmy Carter: States should be allowed to not marry gay couples

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Former US President Jimmy Carter says that individual states should be permitted to not perform same-sex marriages.

The former Democratic President, aged 90, had previously spoken out in support of marriage equality.

However, in an interview this week he appeared to walk back the comments, saying it wasn’t for the federal government to impose equal marriage on states.

The 39th President said: “As you see, more and more states are deciding on gay marriage every year. If Texas doesn’t want to have gay marriage, then I think that’s a right for Texas people to decide.

“I’m kind of inclined to let the states decide individually.”

He continued: “I don’t think that the government ought to ever have the right to tell a church to marry people if the church doesn’t want to.

“I’m a Baptist, and the congregation of our church will decide whether we have a man or a woman as pastor, and whether we’ll marry gay people or not.”

He had said in 2012: “Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things -– he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies”.

Watch the clip via WFAA below:

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