Former President Jimmy Carter said this month that Jesus did not discriminate against gays. His comments were made when asked about LGBT rights during an appearance at the 100th anniversary celebration of Michigan's Grand Rapids Community College, Gay Star News reports.
"I never knew of any word or action of Jesus Christ that discriminated against anybody because of who they were," said Carter, 89, who served as president from 1977-81. "The sexual orientation of a person is just like the color of their skin, or whether they're poor or rich, or whether they live in a foreign country, or whether they live in our country."
He added: "So, I think discrimination against anyone and deprive them of actual equal rights in the United States is a violation of the basic principles of the Constitution that all of us revere in this country."
Carter, a Democrat, has been very active since his post-presidency, winning the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts."
Earlier this year, the former president was the keynote speaker on the first day of the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.
Back in 2012, Carter, a devout Southern Baptist, revealed his support for same-sex marriage with his book "NIV Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter."
"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," he said in an interview with the Huffington Post.
He added that he does not believe that churches need to perform ceremonies for same-sex couples.
"I draw the line, maybe arbitrarily, in requiring by law that churches must marry people," he said. "I'm a Baptist, and I believe that each congregation is autonomous and can govern its own affairs. So, if a local Baptist church wants to accept gay members on an equal basis, which my church does by the way, then that is fine. If a church decides not to, then government laws shouldn't require them to."
In his book, he said parts of the Bible were based on outdated social structures and that "the basic principles of the Bible are taught by God, but written down by human beings deprived of modern day knowledge."
From our media partner EDGE