Jeb Bush Angers Gay Community with Homophobic Remarks

Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s homophobic remarks to Republican lawmakers outraged the lesbian and gay community last week. Bush’s comments followed the arraignment of two Florida women, Geralyn and Pamela Graham, charged with stealing $14,000 in public assistance, said the Associated Press. The women were guardians to Rilya Wilson, the five-year-old whose disappearance exposed the failings of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), according to AP.

Bush insinuated that the women were lesbians, telling lawmakers that he had some “juicy details” about their sexual orientation. “While Bush is giving ‘juicy details,’ the details that people want to hear about are where is Rilya Wilson and what can Florida do to improve the health and welfare of its children? Bush should apologize for his insensitive remarks and focus on the real issues that affect the lives of Floridians,” said Seth Kilborn, National Field Director for the Human Rights Campaign.

The DCF’s previous director, Katherine A. Kearney, resigned under pressure this summer after Rilya Wilson’s disappearance came to light. Despite national attention to the agency’s problems, the DCF did not visit over 3,000 children, up from over 2,800 in August and 1,600 in July, said the Los Angeles Times.

Jeb Bush also recently reiterated his opposition to lesbian and gay adoption, arguing that children should only be placed in homes with couples who are “a man and a wife,” according to the Miami Herald.


Miami Herald 10/16/02; Los Angeles Times, 10/13/02; Associated Press, 10/02/02; Associated Press, 10/03/02; PlanetOut.com, 10/04/02

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