Alex Sink, Herald photo by Charles Trainor
Normally, American candidates for public office do not have to support a law which endorses the rights of gay men and women to adopt children. That is because all American communities and commonwealths allow gay men and women to adopt children. With one exception. Orange Juice Land. Home of Anita Bryant. Home of a handsome governor who apparently once partnered with some younger gay men before marrying an older women.
This brings us to Alex Sink, Florida's chief financial officer and the leading Democratic candidate for governor. Last week at Fort Lauderdale’s Museum of Art, she told a crowd of over 300 equal rights activists that homosexuals should be allowed to adopt if it's in the children's ``best interest.''
Alex Sink is a charming woman, who overpowered me with her energy when she first appeared on my radio talk show one morning at the Floridian. She has a commanding presence, and I think her warmth and personality will sweep her to the governorship over a rather staid Bill McCollum, the state’s Attorney General.
The thing is Alex will need all the charm she can muster to change the law if she wins. Our legislature is still regressive and right wing, dominated by Neanderthal Republicans who have steadfastly refused to amend the law in the face of all common sense evidence to the contrary.
Gays and Lesbians can be buoyed by some judicial decisions striking the statute, such as the one authored by Judge Cindy Lederman in Miami. Those rulings are working their way through appellate courts. So time will give us an ultimate outcome.
Nevertheless, no legitimate GLBT forum can ignore the courage and conscience of Alex Sink today in speaking out. Even though gays are allowed to serve in an interim capacity as foster parents, Florida is the only state with an outright ban on adoption by lesbians and gay men.
As the Attorney General charged with the responsibility of defending state statutes, Bill McCollum, Ms. Sink’s opponent for Governor, is charged with defending the law. It would be ironic if Mr. McCollum supported overturning it as well, but he does not, though to his credit, both as a candidate and AG, he has been supportive of hate crimes legislation.
Still, how can anyone reasonably say that the same gay couples who foster children for years should not be allowed to adopt them for life? No one with a modicum of intelligence can argue such a ludicrous position. No one in 49 other states in our union attempts to.