Former US president Jimmy Carter said on Tuesday that he thinks that Jesus would have approved of gay marriage.
Speaking to Huff Post Live, Carter said:
I believe Jesus would approve gay marriage. I think Jesus would encourage any love affair if it was honest and sincere and was not damaging to anyone else and I don’t see that gay marriage damages anyone else.
He added, however, that churches that do not agree with same-sex marriage should not be forced to perform them.
The only thing I would draw a line on is I wouldn't be in favour of the government being able to force a congregation to perform a gay marriage if they didn't want to.
But those two partners should be able to go to a local court house, or another church, and get married. That's no problem.
Carter also expressed that he had a 'problem with abortion' because he didn't think Jesus would have approved of abortion, unless it was a case of rape or incest, or if the mother's life was in danger.
I have a hard time believing that Jesus would approve abortions unless it was because of rape or incest or if the mother’s life was in danger.
So I’ve had that struggle. I’ve had that struggle, but my oath of office was to obey the Constitution and the laws of this country as interpreted as the Supreme Court, so I went along with that.
Jimmy Carter was President of the United States of America from 1977 - 1981, after the Supreme Court made abortion legal with the landmark Roe v Wade ruling of 1973.
Carter is currently promoting his most recent book, 'A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety'. His last book Faith, contemplates on how his faith sustained him through happiness and disappointment, and was a New York Times bestseller.