Florida gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum says he would ban gay men and lesbians from serving as foster parents.

In a recent interview with the Florida Baptist Witness, McCollum, a Republican, said he would advise officials to alter the state's law that currently allows gay men and lesbians to serve as foster parents but prohibits them from adopting.

“I really do not think that we should have homosexuals guiding our children,” he said. “I think that it's a lifestyle that I don't agree with.”

Florida is the only state with an outright ban on gay adoption. Several states, most recently Arkansas in 2008, prohibit unmarried couples from adopting children and ban gay marriage.

As attorney general, McCollum defended Florida's prohibition. He personally urged the state to hire ex-gay leader George Rekers to testify as an expert witness in favor of the gay adoption ban. Rekers was paid $120,000 for his testimony.

The 61-year-old Rekers of North Miami was exposed in May by the Miami New Times as having hired a male prostitute off the pageviews of gay website RentBoy.com. The 20-year-old escort, named Lucien by the paper, but whose real name is Jo-Vanni Roman, claims he provided Rekers with daily body rubs in the nude during their 10-day European vacation, adding that Rekers liked having his anus rubbed by the younger man.

When asked about Rekers, McCollum denied that the scandal had compromised the state's case.

“I would never have chosen Rekers had I known what we now know today,” he said. “And it's unfortunate that all this publicity has come up over it, but the lawsuit, I think, is on sound ground and we're carrying it forward.”

Gay adoption has also leaked into the campaigns of other high-profile races.

Sharron Angle, the GOP nominee challenging Nevada Senator Harry Reid, said last week that she opposes protections based on sexual orientation and gay adoption.

Karen Handel, a Republican running for governor of Georgia, recently said she would sign a bill that bans gay and lesbian couples from adopting children.