Originally published on Advocate.com August 09 2003 12:00 AM ET
Florida congressman Mark Foley, who sparked a firestorm of controversy when he called a press conference in May to denounce rumors that he is gay, on Monday touted his support for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act while speaking to a group of members of the Spirit of '76 Republican Club of Pasco County, reports the St. Petersburg Times. At the event, in which Foley was stumping for votes in his run for the Republican nomination for Bob Graham's U.S. Senate seat, Scott Factor, treasurer of the Pasco Republican Executive Committee, asked Foley about his votes on two gay rights measures. One proposal would have banned adoptions by gay people in Washington, D.C.; the other would prohibit the use of federal funds for a San Francisco ordinance requiring benefits for "unmarried domestic partners." Foley voted against both measures, saying Congress should not meddle with issues decided at the local level. But Foley confirmed that he voted for DOMA, which denies federal recognition of same-sex unions, and said he does not support adoptions by gays.
Factor, apparently, was unconvinced. "He's clearly in favor of gay rights, and he refuses to address that issue to a mostly conservative crowd," Factor said.