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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rick Scott repeats his opposition to gay adoption, won't say if he'll revive state ban



Gov. Rick Scott left open the possibility Wednesday that he could revive the ban on gay adoptions outside of Miami Dade County amid his appointment of David Wilkins, former Accenture executive and finance chair of the Florida Baptist Children's Home, as new Department of Children and Families secretary,

The Florida Baptist Children's Home is  a private agency that allows only ``professing Christians'' to adopt children in its care and Scott repeated his position that he opposes gay adoptions. "I believe adoption should be by married couples,'' Scott said at the annual Associated Press planning session in Tallahassee.

Last summer, a Miami appeals court declared unconstitutional a Florida law that banned adoption by gay men and lesbians. Outgoing DCF Secretary George Sheldon and then-Attorney General Bill McCollum chose not to appeal the Third District Court of Appeal's ruling to the Florida Supreme Court, saying the decision held sway throughout the state. Sheldon ordered his leadership team to cease enforcing the ban.

But Wilkins and Scott could challenge the Miami ruling by refusing to allow a gay man or woman to adopt elsewhere in the state -- which could trigger an appeal to the state's highest court.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Pam Bondi, speaking to the same meeting, said she has no plans to challenge the appeals court decision. "We are following through with what Gen. McCollum did on that and chose not to continue that.''

On its website, the Baptist Children's Home says that ``in order to adopt through the Florida Baptist Children's Homes we require that you be a professing Christian, be active in a local Christian church, and follow a lifestyle that is consistent with the Christian faith.''

Scott said he hasn't discussed whether to enforce the gay adoption ban again with Wilkins and said it doesn't matter what Wilkins' personal view is. "I'm the governor and whatever my position will be, will be the position that will be enforced,'' he said.

Scott defended Wilkins as "a very accomplished individual...He's an experienced executive and he's very focused on children's issues and family issues."


[Last modified: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 1:53pm]


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