Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum's decision not to appeal a ruling that struck down as unconstitutional the nation's only outright ban on gay adoption means gay men and lesbians can adopt children in the state after 33 years.

But in his bid to win the Republican nomination for governor, McCollum said he not only opposes gay adoption, but he also opposes gay people acting as foster parents.

McCollum made his remarks in an interview with the Florida Baptist Witness.

“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.”

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.”

Last month, a 3-judge appeals court unanimously upheld the ruling that found the law to be unconstitutional and to have “no rational basis.” On Friday, McCollum announced he wouldn't pursue the case any further.