Once assumed the inevitable GOP candidate for Florida Governor, Bill McCollum been sliding in the polls and now is sending up a desperate anti-gay hail mary to the religious conservative crowd.
Here are excerpts from an interview with a Southern Baptist publication in which McCollum reaffirms his support for the ban on gay people adoption. Now he's also calling for laws banning gay people from serving as Foster Parents too.
Here's the link to the full article at the Florida Baptist Witness.
Do you support civil rights protections on the basis of sexual preference?
There's a law in Florida that says that we have, and [as attorney general] I have a Civil Rights Division, that we have a hate crimes issue. And that's really where that comes in for me. Whether or not somebody is discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation or whatever that they should not be. And if somebody commits a crime on that basis, solely on that basis, then they've committed a crime. Now we've had no reason to enforce a law on the basis of sexual orientation.
I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman. I believe that a family should consist of one man and one woman. 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. I just don't believe that.
You've already mentioned that you support the ban on homosexuals to adopt, you've defended it in court as attorney general.
There's been a scandal in that defense in that one of the expert witnesses has come to have some question about his own personal life - George Rekkers. Do you think the urging by your office to include him in that case has ultimately undermined the ability to defend the law?
No, actually not. I believe that the law is very clear and I think we have a good chance to prevail on it in court. The courts of Florida previously upheld this law. But we're going through that appellate process right now.
I would never have chosen Rekkers had I know what we now know today, but the reality is my appellate lawyers - where this is ultimately going, to the state Supreme Court, because that's what the Department of Children and Families wants, they want to seek a determination of the constitutionality of that law and we're defending its constitutionality - my appellate lawyers tell me we needed a witness then, and I believed them to be correct, who could introduce materials, studies. Rekkers 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.
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.
McCollum has been hammered in the media for his decision to pay $120,000 to disgraced and discredited homophobe for hire George "Rentboy" Rekers. Rekers was caught at a Miami airport returning from a European vacation with a young man he'd hired through an online service called Rentboy.com.
Rekers was quickly tossed off right wing boards of directors and removed from their online archives.
Equality Florida and other progressive allies have been calling on McCollum to return the astonishingly high "expert witness" fee McCollum paid Rekers (over the objections of attorneys and child welfare agency leaders). To add your name to that call, click here.