Before announcing his independent bid for the Senate, Republican Governor Charlie Crist had supported Florida’s ban on gay parent adoption because “children are best raised in a traditional family.” As late as February 2010, Crist told told the Palm Beach Post that he had “respect” for the current law. “I don’t advocate for a change,” he said, adding that he hoped it wouldn’t be overturned by the courts.
Last month, Crist’s Independent campaign issued a new position paper on LGBT issues, in which Crist suddenly declared his opposition to the ban. “We need to take politics out of adoption decisions,” the paper read. “That is why I oppose Florida’s current law that requires Family Law judges to ignore what is right for a child in order to adhere to what Florida law blindly demands.” Crist even proposed dropping an appeal of a lower court ruling that had found the ban unconstitutional, but after Florida’s Court of Appeals for the Third District unanimously upheld the finding, he appeared before the cameras to announce that Florida would stop enforcing the ban.
All that’s last month. Today, speaking before the very same Palm Beach Post editorial board to whom he had preached about the value of the “traditional family” in February, Crist denied saying he “liked” the law and pretended like he never held a personal opinion on the issue:
PBP: You also said you favored the gay adoption ban. And now you don’t.
CRIST: It was a law on the books. I was the former attorney general. I have a sworn duty…
PBP: That didn’t mean you had to like it.
CRIST: I didn’t say I liked it. I said I would enforce it.
PBP: (Cross talk) No, you said you thought that children do best in a home with a mother and a father.
PBP: That’s what you said. With that pen and in that chair. So has that changed?
CRIST: Has that changed?
CRIST: No. I think what’s changed is we have a court ruling that says that the law is unconstitutional. That’s what has changed. And I respect the law.
PBP: That ruling was in effect when you were here in February.
PBP: Not the DCA ruling.
CRIST: The DCA ruling…Okay…I’m referring to the DCA ruling.
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It’s hard to watch Crist feign consistency in his positions and pretend like he never supported the ban. But with most Floridians opposed to the policy, the governor is moving to the left on social issues to peel away votes from Democratic challenger Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL). To do that, he has to ignore his “traditional family” comments.