Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Let gays adopt when it's in child's 'best interest,' says Florida CFO Alex Sink

Alex Sink, Florida's chief financial officer and the leading Democratic candidate for governor, told the state's largest gay rights group Sunday that homosexuals should be allowed to adopt if it's in the children's "best interest."

Florida is the only state with an outright ban on adoption by lesbians and gay men. Sink said it should be up to a judge to determine whether it's in a child's best interest to be adopted, on a case-by-case basis.

"We need a system in which all of our children are assured that they live in a healthy, loving home — a home that's determined not by any law," Sink told about 300 gay activists who packed a gallery of modern artwork at the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale.

''The decision has to be made by the judge, in consultation with the experts, to determine what is the best for that individual child."

Sink said she looked forward to working with Democratic state Sen. Nan Rich of Weston, who has unsuccessfully pushed legislation to repeal the state's gay adoption ban. But Sink said after the speech that she had not read the bill and would not immediately commit to signing it if it passed and she were elected governor.

The issue offers a contrast between Sink and the Republican front-runner for governor, Attorney General Bill McCollum, whose office is defending the state's ban on gay adoption. A state appeals court is weighing the case of a North Miami gay man seeking to adopt his two foster children.

Sink's speech at the Equality Florida fundraiser comes as she tries to chart a politically moderate path to the Governor's Mansion in 2010. She denied the crowd an obvious opportunity to applaud by using legal jargon about the "best interest of the child'' instead of calling for an outright repeal of the state law.

The event in the state's Democratic stronghold raised $175,000 for the gay rights group.

"She's going to need to garner every progressive vote that she can, not just to vote for her but for people to donate their money and time and hard work," said Brian Winfield, a spokesman for Equality Florida. "The gay community is known for volunteering for people who are going to be a champion for us."

McCollum was known as a staunch conservative during his two decades representing the Orlando area in Congress. But because he had voted in favor of hate crimes legislation that included attacks against gay men and lesbians, he was labeled a "darling of homosexual extremists'' by his Republican opponent for the U.S. Senate in 2004. Mel Martinez was widely criticized for using vulgar campaign tactics but won the race.

McCollum continues to support hate crimes laws. And he and Sink both won praise from gay rights activists recently for allowing employees to take sick leave to care for same-sex partners.

Sink's office policy specifically addresses domestic partners, while McCollum's rule is more vague.

Let gays adopt when it's in child's 'best interest,' says Florida CFO Alex Sink 11/15/09 [Last modified: Sunday, November 15, 2009 10:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Sunstar ambulance unit overturns at Drew Street intersection in Clearwater, prompts road closures

    Accidents

    The intersection of Drew Street and Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater is closed following a crash that involved a Sunstar ambulance unit, according to the Clearwater Police Department.

    A Sunstar unit flipped in the intersection of Drew Street and Ford Harrison Avenue in Clearwater Monday morning after a car reportedly ran a red light and struck the ambulance, according to the Clearwater Police Department.
  2. Merkel spokesman: Germany still seeking stronger U.S. ties

    Nation

    BERLIN — Berlin remains committed to strong trans-Atlantic relations, but Chancellor Angela Merkel's suggestion after meetings with President Donald Trump that Europe can no longer entirely rely on the U.S. "speaks for itself," her spokesman said Monday

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech during an election campaign of her Christian Democratic Union, CDU, and the Christian Social Union, CSU, in Munich, southern Germany, Sunday. Merkel is urging European Union nations to stick together in the face of new uncertainty over the United States and other challenges. [Matthias Balk/dpa via AP]
  3. Tampa police: 46 arrests, 47 ejections at two-day Sunset Music Festival

    Public Safety

    Times staff

    TAMPA — In a preliminary tally Monday morning, police declared there were "no major incidents" during the two-day Sunset Music Festival at Raymond James Stadium but boosted the number of arrests and rejections they provided in earlier reports during the weekend.

    A Tampa Fire Rescue all-terrain vehicle patrols the parking area north of Raymond James Stadum on Sunday, day two of the Sunset Music Festival. [LUIS SANTANA   |   Times]

  4. Trump to speak at Arlington cemetery on Memorial Day

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is preparing his first Memorial Day address at Arlington National Cemetery.

    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wave as they board Air Force One at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Saturda, in Sigonella, Italy. [AP photo]
  5. Two in serious condition after early-morning shooting in Tampa

    Crime

    Two people are in serious condition after a shooting occurred early Monday morning in Tampa, according to the Tampa Police Department.