Gay adoption comes into play in AG race
From the Miami Herald:
BY LEE LOGAN
HERALD/TIMES TALLAHASSEE BUREAU
TALLAHASSEE -- When voters choose from among five candidates to be Florida's next attorney general, their decision could have a profound effect on some of the state's most highly charged issues, from gay adoption to healthcare reform.
Florida's unique gay adoption ban underscores how the state's chief legal officer can use the position to advance a personal philosophy while adhering to the duties of the job.
Attorney General Bill McCollum has come under fire recently for advocating the use of an expert witness who has been discredited while defending the state's ban on gay couples adopting children.
Three Republicans seeking the post -- Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, former state healthcare secretary Holly Benson and former Hillsborough prosecutor Pam Bondi -- all say they would continue to uphold the adoption ban.
``The best home for any child is a two-parent home with a mother and a father,'' Benson said.
But both Democrats, state Sens. Dave Aronberg and Dan Gelber, say Florida has spent enough defending an antiquated law.
``I don't think as a lawyer I can make a straight-faced argument that the ban is constitutional,'' said Gelber of Miami Beach.
The challenge comes from a North Miami man who wanted to adopt two foster children that are living with him and his partner. A Miami judge ruled the law unconstitutional in 2008. The state's appeal of that ruling is pending.
McCollum is defending the ban on behalf of the Department of Children and Families. He personally pushed to hire psychologist George Rekers as an expert witness. Rekers was found to have gone on a European vacation with a gay escort.
In public appearances, Bondi refused to say if she would take the case to the Supreme Court if the state loses the appeal. In an interview Friday, she clarified her position: ``I will continue with General McCollum's appeal. If [the Supreme Court] can legally hear it, yes, I will appeal.''
The Supreme Court must first agree to hear the case before any candidate can appeal.
At a Tiger Bay forum in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, Bondi said that as attorney general, she would support whatever law is on the books.
Read the rest here.