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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Has Rouson really changed views of homosexuality?



ST. PETERSBURG- State Rep. Darryl Rouson said he would support allowing same-sex couples to adopt children if the vote came up tomorrow, but local gay activists are finding his newfound views on homosexuality hard to stomach.

The Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County are supporting Rouson's Democratic opponent, Charles McKenzie. Rouson left most of the organization's questions blank when he answered their candidate survey earlier this year.

"I have met and consulted with a number of activists in the field, and will continue to do so, but am not yet in a position to categorically answer the very specific questions listed above," he wrote. "I stand ready to meet with your organization at anytime."

Among the questions he dodged, "Florida is currently the only state in the nation that bans lesbians and gay men from adopting children. Do you support the repeal of Florida's ban?" and "Would you oppose any attempts to take away the right of lesbians and gay men from continuing to serve as foster parents in Florida?"

Gay activist Jim Jackson, a member of Stonewall Democrats, said he does not trust Rouson.

"If he thinks I'm morally corrupt, I would like him to apologize to me personally, but quite honestly, I'm not sure I can accept that," he said. "I don't think he has changed."

On Monday, Rouson said that anyone who criticized him for educating himself and changing his mind on homosexuals will be just as guilty of being judgmental as he once was.

Meanwhile, McKenzie supporter James Donelon filed two complaints against Rouson with the Florida Elections Commission this week for failing to provide proper disclosure on several campaign flyers.

Rouson said the campaign literature did have the proper identification and provided Bay Buzz with a copy of the flyers. He added that he has seen several McKenzie flyers that do not provide the proper disclosure, but that he didn't file a complaint with the state because he wanted his campaign to stick to the issues.

-Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:32am]


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