Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Jimmy Carter says ‘Jesus would approve of gay marriage’ but not abortions

The 93-year-old former Democratic president is promoting his new book 'A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety'

Mythili Sampathkumar
New York
Monday 09 July 2018 21:53 BST
Former US President Jimmy Carter, 93, said Jesus would approve of gay marriage but not abortions while promoting his new book reflecting on his life
Former US President Jimmy Carter, 93, said Jesus would approve of gay marriage but not abortions while promoting his new book reflecting on his life (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Jimmy Carter has said Jesus would “approve” of same-sex marriage and so does he.

The 93-year-old former US president said on HuffPost Live: “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”.

Mr Carter was on the show to promote his new book titled A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety in which he discussed the role of his faith in his political life.

The Democratic former peanut farmer has described himself as a born-again Christian in the past and noted on the programme that churches which do not approve of gay marriage should be required to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.

The former leader, who served as president from 1977-1981, said he “had [a] struggle” in support a woman’s right to choose an abortion.

“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,” Mr Carter said.

However, he added: “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." The landmark pro-choice case of Roe v Wade was decided in 1973, just four years before Mr Carter took office, and now that case is in jeopardy of being overturned.

Donald Trump is set to name a nominee to the US Supreme Court to fill the seat of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who recently announced his retirement.

Though not all justices rule on cases along party lines, if Mr Trump’s nominee gets approved by the Senate, it will give Republicans and conservatives who have noted they are pro-life, a majority on the bench.

It is thought that one of the most crucial cases setting the precedent of the right to privacy for a woman’s body, could be overturned when Mr Trump’s new justice begins their term - further complicating matters for women seeking a safe abortion as several US states have made it difficult through a series of measures.

These include, but are not limited to, allowing pharmacists to deny patients prescriptions to terminate a pregnancy if it goes against their faith and requiring physicians who perform such procedures to partner with doctors who are able to practice at a hospital near the abortion facility and who are willing to take on the risk, a combination hard to find in those states.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in