Campaign spokesman Bryan Thomas told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday evening that "Jason has long supported marriage equality, and has said so to anyone who asked him. He doesn’t think we should ever be in a position of telling churches what to do, but has long been on the record in support of civil marriage equality."
The statement came in response to an editorial in The GA Voice that criticized him for sidestepping the issue, including in an interview with The Huffington Post, despite attending various LGBT-related events.
Carter himself later told Creative Loafing Atlanta:
I have, for a very long time, supported marriage equality. ... I didn't understand [the Georgia Voice’s editorial]. Everybody who knows me knows where I stand on the issue. I haven't had a conversion. My grandfather is 89 and supports marriage equality in part because of the influence we've had on him. I do think it's important for people to know that no one in the movement is talking about telling churches what to do. But as far as the government is concerned, marriage equality is something I believe in and have [believed in] for a very, very, very long time since before I got into politics.
Carter's statement comes while an abundance of lawsuits relating to marriage equality are being decided in state, federal and appellate courts.
On Wednesday, Target Corp. followed in the path of other large companies in announcing its support of marriage equality.
Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, is trailing incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal (R) ahead of the November general election: