Florida State Rep. Darryl Rouson says he didn't remember calling gay people immoral during a television program in 2006 or describing them as unfit to adopt children.
He did not remember saying this: "I think it's wrong to allow adoptions of children by gay and lesbian couples."
Or this: "I still think that there ought to be ways for us to provide a loving environment for children without sending a wrong message to them early, or a message that we have to sit down and try to explain some psychological damage or emotional damage or something later on in life."
Or this one either: "I think that lesbianism and homosexuality is morally wrong and the law's supposed to discriminate sometimes."
Watch the video and read Rep. Rouson's reply to me when I contacted him about it after the jump...
Here's the clip.
His opponent in the August 26th Democratic primary is Rev. Charles McKenzie.
McKenzie, a pro-equality Black Baptist minister, has gained the endorsement of LGBT organizations including Equality Florida Action PAC and the Stonewall Democrats for his longstanding support of anti-discrimination laws and his opposition to Amendment 2, the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment. (For more info on Charles McKenzie, visit his website: http://www.mckenzie2008.com)
I spoke with Rep. Rouson about the video several times and he promised to issue a public apology at the NAACP debate with McKenzie last night. He also sent the following statement and I told him I'd include it wherever I posted the video:
l have reviewed the Florida This Week video and I regret my comments. Without giving full explanation, I will say that I should have been more tolerant and less damning on the whole matter of whether Lesbian or gay lifestyle is wrong. I regret that my words caused pain or demonstrated condemnation for fellow human beings.
As far as same sex couples adopting, what i believe is that the paramount issue is a loving household for the child. Children who are in need of adoption should be eligible to receive love whether it is from a heterosexual or same sex couple. I will absolutely support repealing any ban on same sex couple adoptions.
I believe that the matter of gay or lesbian has a theological viewpoint, a political viewpoint and a biological viewpoint. I am not smarter than the preachers, the veteran politicians or the scientists. I will not pretend to substitute my humble and flawed human judgment for theirs. Therefore, I will support civil unions but any sacrament of marriage is a theological issue and it should be sacrosanct to denomination.
I have not taken a position on amendment 2 but i am open to recieving all information. the fact of the matter is i want to build a relationship that bridges gaps between diverse communities without using words that foster hatred and division.