Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during a town hall meeting, on May 16, 2015, at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall—AP
May 18, 2015 8:35 AM EDT

Jeb Bush said in a new interview that Christian business owners can refuse to serve gay weddings.

The presumptive Republican 2016 presidential candidate told the Christian Broadcasting Network that refusing service would not count as discrimination if it went against a business owner’s religious beliefs.

“A big country, a tolerant country ought to be able to figure out the difference between discriminating someone because of their sexual orientation and not forcing someone to participate in a wedding that they find goes against their moral beliefs,” Bush said.

The question became a flashpoint earlier this year amid debate over an Indiana law that proponents said would protect religious freedom but critics said would sanction discrimination.

Bush also said in the interview that he doesn’t believe same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.

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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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