Political Correction

Rick Scott Won't Say Whether Homosexuality Is Immoral

October 21, 2010 1:54 pm ET - by Kate Conway

Rick Scott's campaign tactics in his quest to become Florida's next governor have largely been in line with the typical Republican approach this election season: make sweeping and sound bite-friendly pledges, then furiously evade when pressed for specifics.

Out of a handful of telling moments during last night's debate against Democratic candidate Alex Sink, perhaps no exchange better highlighted Scott's tendency toward politically expedient but imprecise answers than his response to a simple yes-or-no question about whether or not homosexuality was immoral. Watch:

Scott offered neither a "yes" nor a "no." Instead, his response was predictable, calculated and meaningless: "What I believe is, I believe marriage is between a man and a woman." (Scott then referred to his own 38-year marriage, apparently not seeing the irony in touting a right he presumably enjoys but would deny to thousands of other committed couples.)

But, as Sink pointed out, no one had asked a question on same-sex marriage:

Let me just mention that Rick didn't really answer the question that you asked. He has a history of answering evasively in all of his depositions, many depositions that he's given. ... The direct answer to the question that you ask, Adam, is no, I don't think it is immoral.

Scott didn't dodge the follow-up question on adoption of children by same-sex couples, but his answer had no basis in reality — only in homophobia: "I believe that children are raised in a more healthy environment if they're raised by a married couple." When a moderator asked if he'd like to see a ban on same-sex adoption kept in place, his answer was a definitive "yes."

Scott's position on this issue flies directly in the face of extensive research that indicates there is absolutely no credible evidence that children of same-sex parents fare any worse than children of opposite-sex couples. A 2010 study specifically addressed the fate of children adopted by same-sex couples and concluded:

Our findings revealed, for the first time, that young children adopted early in life by lesbian and gay parents young were as well-adjusted as those adopted by heterosexual parents. Our results suggest that lesbian and gay adults can and do make capable adoptive parents. We found no significant differences among families headed by lesbian, gay, or heterosexual parents in terms of child adjustment, parenting behaviors, or couples' adjustment. In addition, reports of children's outside caregivers were consistent with those of parents.

In other words, Scott would deny children the opportunity to live in a loving, healthy home environment just... because.

So much for running Florida like a business, where there's little room for arbitrary and capricious decision-making. It looks like Scott will flaunt empirical evidence about what's best for Florida's residents whenever it suits his conservative biases. Perhaps that's similar to how Scott's hospital company decided to flaunt ethics and the law to make a quick profit — and ended up paying a $1.7 billion fine in the largest case of Medicare fraud in history.

Copyright © 2010 Media Matters Action Network. All rights reserved.