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We thought Mike McWherter might claim he was misquoted or taken out of context, but he's sticking with the comments he made to this blogger
about gay adoption, his campaign says. Yes indeedy, he favors making it illegal for gay people to adopt children. It's his "honest, heartfelt" opinion, spokesman Mike Kopp tells Pith
On the other hand, Kopp says, doing a little tap dance, McWherter wouldn't try to enact such a ban into law if he's elected governor. It's heartfelt, but not that
Time-saver update: Braisted gives
the shorter version of the campaign response: "Yes, Mike's a bigot, but it's all good, because it won't be a part of his legislative package."
Kopp says he talked with McWherter about what he told the blogger.
"The fact of the matter is, what he said is where he is on this issue. No one in the campaign is going to sit here and try to nuance it. That's just where he is personally on the issue. At this point, there's really nothing else to say about it. He was asked point blank the question, and he gave an honest, heartfelt answer about where he is on the issue. The question was how does he feel about a gay couple adopting a child. His personal belief is that parents of the opposite sex are better for adoption to raise a child. If push came to shove specifically when it came to a ban, yes, he would be supportive of a ban."
We also talked this morning with Chris Sanders of the Tennessee Equality Project. He says he hopes McWherter does a little research into this issue, then changes his position. To start denying homes with gay couples to unwanted children would cost Tennessee nearly $3 million--the price of keeping these kids languishing in state custody, according to an analysis by legislative staff.
"If you don't like gay people, that's one thing, but everybody likes money, so you can look at it that way," Sanders says. "I would hope that his staff would start prepping him on those kinds of things."
Kopp admits, "We haven't dived into the issue from a policy standpoint."
"As far as knowing the cost implications and how it would be worded and what would the legislative language look like and all that, this is not a policy initiative of Mike McWherter's. This is not in any way part of his political agenda. There's been no attempt to make this an agenda item. He doesn't plan to introduce anything on this issue."