GOP AG candidate under fire for reported 20-year-old comments about gay couples adopting children

GOP AG candidate under fire for reported 20-year-old comments about gay couples adopting children
Erika Harold, an Illinois candidate for attorney general, made some comments about same-sex adoption nearly 20 years old at the Miss Illinois pageant, and the comments are coming back to haunt her. (Getty Images)

Erika Harold is a Republican attorney general candidate for the state of Illinois, but Harold allegedly made comments some 20 years ago regarding gay couples adopting that didn’t age well.

What’s the history?

Harold, who was Miss America in 2003, reportedly made the comments in 2000 when she was a Miss Illinois contestant.

During a behind-the-scenes interview session, Harold was asked her thoughts about same-sex couples taking in foster children. At that time, Harold’s mother was a social worker who placed children in foster care.

Harold answered that she’d rather see a child go into an abusive heterosexual home environment than be taken in by a same-sex couple, which were the choices she was given during the question.

Harold, now 38, reportedly made the comments when she was just 20 years old.

What’s happening now?

Author and 1998 Miss America winner Kate Shindle wrote about Harold’s purported comments in her 2014 book, “Being Miss America.”

“Under pressure, Harold reportedly stated she would choose to place a child in an abusive heterosexual home rather than with a loving gay couple,” Shindle wrote, according to WBBM-TV.

As a result of the resurfaced comments, attorney general challenger Gary Grasso said that he is calling for Harold to withdraw her candidacy.

“I’m asking that Erika Harold withdraw as a candidate,” Grasso said, according to WBBM. “As a father to six children, I am sickened by the idea of placing any child in danger, especially in the home of known child abusers.”

Initially, Harold’s campaign issued a statement that asserted the candidate did not recall such a question.

“Voters should first know that NBC Chicago has chosen to air an unverified story from anonymous sources twelve days before an election about an alleged event that supposedly occurred nearly two decades ago when Erika was 20 years old,” the first statement, obtained by WMAQ-TV, read. “Erika does not recall the alleged exchange, but Erika certainly support[s] same-sex adoption and foster care placement.”

In response to the snowballing controversy, Harold’s campaign issued a second statement, obtained by WBBM.

“When Erika was 20-years-old, she didn’t support same-sex adoption,” the statement read. “Like many others, Erika has changed. She acknowledges that position was wrong and now strongly supports same-sex adoption and foster placement.”