Governor Charlie Crist (I) tried to run away from his support for Florida’s ban against gay adoption during yesterday’s ABC Florida senate debate, portraying himself a social moderate who only supported the ban because it was the law of the state. But during a heated exchange in the last minutes of the three-way debate between Crist, Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R), Meek likened Crist to former Alabama Governor George Wallace and said that he stood in the way of sensible adoption policies:
CRIST: When I was saying that it wasn’t appropriate to have that adoption, it was because that was the law in the books in our state. I was the Attorney General of Florida. I understand enforcing the law and respecting it….I’m a live and let live kind of guy…I am a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. I really believe in less government and more freedom. I don’t want to impose my will on other people. [...]
MEEK: It’s really mind boggling. It’s beyond an explanation for the governor to stand here and do more than a Potomac two-step. I mean, he is saying that he was the, how do you say, the Governor Wallace when he came down on gay adoptions in the state. For all of the kids in foster care right now that are looking for home, he stood — he said he thought it was inappropriate. When he ran against Jim Davis in ’96 — I mean, ’06, he said that Jim Davis didn’t have the values that he possessed. That’s not, that’s not in the state statute. That’s his opinion.
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Indeed, before announcing his independent bid for the Senate, Crist had supported Florida’s ban on gay parent adoption because “children are best raised in a traditional family.” As recently as February 2010, Crist 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.