Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is not an open homosexual, is running for the U.S. Senate. And part of his giant crusade to bring civility and order back to politics? Defending his state’s storied ban on gay adoption!
While you can argue putting Crist in a Senate seat is actually good for Democrats, that’s less true for gays.
To be sure, Crist’s position on the ban isn’t new: He’s backed keeping kids out of gay homes for some time now. (He’s also backed a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, though he’s come out in support of civil unions.) But now that he’s facing a Senate election campaign, he’s got to drum up that social conservative base.
Which is why he’s using his power as a sitting governor to take to the courts to defend the 1977 adoption ban. Making the issue more sensitive is that Crist’s sitting lieutenant governor, Jeff Kottkamp, is launching his own campaign for attorney general; Kottkamp also now heads Crist’s Office of Adoption, which will tout an increase in Florida’s annual adoption rate. And of course, it looks like Team Crist already got a jump start on defending the ban: “Mysteriously” the judge who ruled it unconstitutional was demoted this month.
Crist will be seen around Florida today promoting “Explore Adoption Day,” where he’ll show off the latest data that shows Florida’s adoptions increased from last year. Let’s hope he stays out of Ft. Lauderdale.
UPDATE: Reports from Crist’s tour today suggest he’s “softening” his stance on the gay adoption ban.