Candidates' Remarks on Gay Foster Parents Raise Eyebrows
Earlier this week, the Miami Herald reports, McCollum was pretty darn clear about his views on the subject.
James A. Smith Sr., the executive editor of Florida Baptist Witness, asked McCollum Aug. 3 if homosexuals should be permitted to serve as foster parents in Florida.
"I think that it's a lifestyle that I don't agree with," McCollum responds in the online version of the interview posted Monday, Aug. 9.
"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," he adds. "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."
Reporters asked him about those remarks Tuesday, Aug. 10, according to the Herald. Then McCollum, who also happens to be running for governor, back stepped a bit.
Florida is the only state that bans gay adoptions, but the ban is being challenged by the state Supreme Court. Before advancing an opinion, McCollum now tells the press, he wants to see how things shake out in the court system.
"I reserve my opinion about what we should or shouldn't do till we see what that ruling is with regard to foster care," he tells the Herald.
McCollum's track record on gay rights has earned him animosity on both sides of the aisle. Liberals on the issue criticize his state opposition to gay parents.
Nonetheless, the Herald reports, McCollum angered social conservatives during his 2004 U.S. Senate race. He was labeled a tool of the "radical homosexual lobby" for supporting the inclusion of gays and lesbians in federal hate crime legislation.
The issue of gay rights strikes home even within his own campaign organization, the Herald reports.
The finance chairman of his campaign, Miami investor Jon Kislak, led an unsuccessful drive to keep a same-sex marriage ban out of the state Constitution in 2008. Kislak tells the Herald his gay daughter had to move out of state to marry her partner and adopt a child -- Kislak's grandson.
Related: Gay Parents Do Not Warp Their Kids, Research Shows
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.