When Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (I) announced that he would leave the Republican party to run for the Senate as an independent, he indicated that he would be more free to support “ideas that I believe are good ideas for the people,” instead of just following “one club’s decision.” Indeed, after long supporting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Crist has announced that he is now in favor of the new comprise legislation, which would repeal the policy but allow the Pentagon to complete its study before the repeal is implemented. In a statement, Crist said the compromise will ensure that the new policy is “what is best for our military”:
“Ultimately, as in all military matters I defer to the Pentagon and to the Generals and what the Senate is doing today is giving them the ultimate authority to do what is best for our military. So, I would be inclined to support the Senate’s action on this.”
Crist has maintained a traditionally conservative record on LGBT issues, though there is some evidence to suggest he may adopt a more progressive stance now that he has been liberated from the Republican Party. He has said he is “fine” with civil unions, and in 2007, he asked the GOP to stop spending money promoting “a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Florida” in 2007.