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Ban Gay Foster Parents Says Florida AG

Ban Gay Foster Parents Says Florida AG

Not content with Florida’s antiquated ban on gay adoption, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said in an interview released on Monday, “I really do not think that we should have homosexuals guiding our children” while advocating for a ban on gay foster parents.

Florida is the only state in the U.S. which explicitly bans same-sex couples from adopting children, however the ban, enacted in 1977, does not prevent gay and lesbian couples from fostering.

Bill McCollum Flashes his Anti-Gay Credentials
In the wake of heavy criticism over the George Rekers scandal, one would think that McCollum might wish to dodge the subject of gay parenting during his media campaign as he pushes to be the Republican candidate for Governor.

But no, he remains as fiercely anti-gay as ever, telling the Florida Baptist Witness that he not only wants to keep Florida’s gay adoption ban, he also wants a ban on gay couples fostering, an opinion he’s based on an appeal to consistency and his personal “religious faith”:

Florida permits homosexuals to serve as foster parents. That has been used as an argument to undermine the ban on adoptions. Should homosexuals be permitted to serve as foster parents in Florida?

Well, I personally don’t think so, but that is the law.

Should the law be changed?

I think that it would be advisable. I really do not think that we should have homosexuals guiding our children. I think that it’s a lifestyle that I don’t agree with. I realize a lot of people do. It’s my personal faith, religious faith, that I don’t believe that the people who do this should be raising our children. It’s not a natural thing. You need a mother and a father. You need a man and a woman. That’s what God intended.

It is worth noting that this view does not tally with the consensus of the Episcopal Church that McCollum says he visits frequently (though not exclusively). The Episcopal Church has been noted for its acceptance of same-sex couples and has been the center of controversy over its approval of gay and lesbian clergy.

McCollum’s Views: Personal Bias, Not Fact

For me this interview is very telling, in particular lines like:

“I don’t believe in gay adoption. I don’t believe in involving the government in enforcing or encouraging the lifestyle of gays and homosexuals.”

And how McCollum then categorizes his views:

“It’s my personal faith, religious faith, that I don’t believe that the people who do this should be raising our children. It’s not a natural thing.”

So, by his own admission, this is a personal belief. But during his time as Florida Attorney General, McCollum spent an estimated $383,000 of tax payer money to defend Florida’s gay adoption ban in court, a ban which polls suggest a majority of Florida’s residents do not support and one that a court has rejected as unconstitutional.

Now he’s advocating going further and banning same-sex couple from fostering, all based on his personal, private beliefs. Who, exactly, is pursuing a personal agenda and imposing their views on others now?

Study after study demonstrates that gay and lesbian couples are perfectly suitable parents, but McCollum is hiding behind the ultra-conservative myth of the so-called gay agenda and how it is supposedly being forced on an unsuspecting populous by a liberal government or by radical judges, while apparently seeing no hypocrisy in his own approach to the issue.

Despite the Rekers Fiasco, McCollum Confident of a Win in Court
In the aforementioned interview McCollum also voices his opposition to gay marriage, so-called “ObamaCare”, his support for Arizona’s immigration law and lauds his nuclear family stance; all fairly standard responses. More noteworthy, however, are his comments on the George Rekers scandal.

McCollum payed George Rekers, a man who believes that homosexuality can be cured and who co-founded the vehemently anti-gay Family Research Council, an estimated $87,000 of tax payer money to have him testify in defense of Florida’s gay adoption ban as an expert witness, only for Rekers’ testimony to be rejected as unsound and for the man to be caught on holiday earlier this year with a male travel companion who advertised on website Rentboy.com.

Rekers claimed the young man was there to help him carry his luggage after recently undergoing several rounds of surgery, and that he was counseling his 20-year-old companion. His traveling partner, while not totally disproving this claim (the luggage lifting part), had a rather different take on the trip.

Regardless, McCollum thinks that he has a good chance of defending the constitutionality of the law on appeal. He does say in the interview that he would not have used Rekers as an expert witness knowing what he knows today though, while giving a rather convoluted answer as to Rekers’ credentials:

Rekkers [sic] was not an authority on this issue. He was an authority in the sense that he was a scholar. He did research into papers that other people wrote. So he was able to be used to get into evidence these matters that we needed. And it’s unfortunate that all this publicity has come up over it, but the lawsuit, I think, is on sound ground and we’re carrying it forward.

Presiding over the case Judge Cindy Lederman had a harsher take on Rekers’ suitability, saying: “The court cannot consider his testimony to be credible nor worthy of forming the basis of public policy.” Lederman went on to rule that the gay adoption ban has no rational basis. The case is currently with the Third District Court of Appeals and is destined for the state Supreme Court.

But the central issue here is that McCollum seems to believe that his own narrow personal views should be the basis of public policy, and he’s touting the “I’m thinking of the children” card while flashing his self-avowed religious views all over the place to prop up his flagging poll ratings ahead of the August 24 primary.

It’s sad that McCollum is using this kind of rhetoric to win some votes, but the facts are these: there exists no legitimate reason to perpetuate the ban, and it certainly isn’t something that McCollum should be proud of defending.

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222 comments

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1:10PM PST on Feb 5, 2011

McCollum belongs in a museum covering the dark ages. He'd rather see children staying in instititions until they are legal adults than allowing them to grow up in a home with parents that love them. Shame on that bigot!

6:33AM PST on Dec 2, 2010

These people are better parents than half of different sex parents. I think these people who make these decisions not only hurt America but the children who need good homes. Shame on all of you.

10:45AM PDT on Sep 12, 2010

Another fool given power to hurt people who are only trying to bring love into the world.

6:05PM PDT on Aug 18, 2010

Hey, y'all! I am a Floridiot, born and bred here. I am proud of my beautiful state and enjoy its natural wonders (what's left) as often as I can. PLEASE do NOT write us all off as Mc Collum-supporting idiots! I promise you, there is a huge group of us working against this man. His poll numbers slip a little every day! The thought of this man running our fair state is revolting. Please believe me when I say most Floridians do not support this man.
I saw the comments about not wanting to come back to Florida because of this. Well, now, I have to admit I no longer wish to visit Alaska because of what's-'er-face, but I realize that's a stupid way to feel. Why hold the natural beauty of that state responsible for Palin? Our springs will continue to run cold and the sun will still be hot long after this McCollum boob is laughed out of the election! Please do come back to visit our state, now, hear?! We need your money! :)

10:20AM PDT on Aug 17, 2010

Religion. Christian religion. This needs to be kept away from all of this. These people are making it about the Christian religion. This is not about religion. No christian can be objective. It's not in their nature.

11:40PM PDT on Aug 16, 2010

Wow, prejudice is alive and kicking isn't it? I actually know of someone whose parents are a same-sex couple, and not only has it not affected his sexuality (he's straight) but apparently he's quite a decent human being. How does your parents' sexuality matter, as long as it is consensual and not hurting anyone? Furthermore, their sexuality has no bearing on how they bring up their children...shame on this man for being such a bigot!

10:36AM PDT on Aug 16, 2010

"Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." –Thomas Jefferson’s motto of his private seal.

10:35AM PDT on Aug 16, 2010

"Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." –Thomas Jefferson’s motto of his private seal.

4:27PM PDT on Aug 15, 2010

Retrogradists, I dislike them.

2:12PM PDT on Aug 15, 2010

Glenna Jones-kachtik says: "If you believe that GOD has a plan for everyone, and all these different forms of reproduction are going on - then you have to accept the fact that GOD doesn't make mistakes"

Yeah, yeah... so if GOD doesn't make mistakes, you can also say that GOD creates rapists & murderers and since that's GOD plan in the first place, rapists and murderers should be allowed to rape and murder whoever they want, without suffering any consequences... because ultimately, they will be punished by GOD.

Bah! Fuck all this GOD nonsense. People need to learn how to think for themselves, once and for all!

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