Georgia's Perdue backtracks on gay issues

BY Advocate.com Editors

October 07 2002 11:00 PM ET

Republican candidate for Georgia governor Sonny Perdue told a gay GOP group that same-sex couples are sometimes better parents than heterosexual couples. But Perdue later clarified his position and said he opposes allowing gay couples to adopt children. Perdue spoke Wednesday in Atlanta to the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay and lesbian Republicans. When asked if he supports the ban on gay adoptions, Perdue pointed out that Georgia has no such ban. "I'm perfectly willing to listen to your opinion on that," Perdue said. "A nurturing, loving home with couples of the same sex is better than the homes that we find some children in with parents of the opposite sex."

That gave some of those in attendance the idea that Perdue is open to gay adoption, but the next day Perdue said that wasn't what he meant. "On the margins, some nurturing environments are provided," Perdue said. "But children are best served by a mother and a father. I could not and would not support any legislation dealing with gay adoptions. I do not support gay people adopting."

Perdue also was asked Wednesday whether, if elected governor, he would sign a bill banning workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. He said he would. But Thursday he said he would sign such legislation only for state employees. He said he opposes such laws for nongovernment workers. "What I think I couched my phrase in is that I believe in representative government," Perdue said. "State employees is what I was talking about."

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