Former Miss America contestant Erika Harold, who is running for Illinois Attorney General, is under fire for the comments she made back in 2000. According to NBC Chicago, she said that she’d rather hand a foster child to an abuser instead of a gay couple.
Harold was asked by judges at an Illinois pageant about how she would approach issues if she was a social worker who chose foster homes for kids. Harold was asked who she’d chose between a gay couple or a heterosexual couple known as child abusers.
Three of the judging panel have confirmed that she responded with child abusers.
“I remember it because it was so shocking.”
“She took some time to answer it. And that drew people in. It stopped the room.”
“She spoke about reading the Bible daily and said her beliefs could not subject a child to the gay lifestyle.”
Another said: “I find it literally impossible she does not remember because it cost her the pageant, she did not even make the top 10 that year. There’s no way she does not remember.”
According to her political campaign team, the event “supposedly occurred nearly two decades ago when Erika was 20-years-old”.
“Voters should first know that NBC Chicago chose to air an unverified story from anonymous sources 12 days before election. Erika does not recall the alleged exchange, but Erika certainly support[s]same-sex adoption and foster care placement,” they continued.
Harold has since responded to the allegations, saying: “I don’t remember the specific exchange that was alleged by the anonymous sources. What I do remember is that at the time I would not have supported same-sex adoption, but what I want to make very clear is my position today, which is I strongly support same-sex adoption and same-sex foster parenting.”
Last Friday Harold’s primary opponent Gary Grasso called on Harold to apologize and drop out of the race.
“You never choose to put a child in harm’s way to be subject to physical abuse, mental abuse, even potential sexual abuse,” Grasso said.
“I think that voters will be able to look and realize that we are talking about anonymous allegations made from 20 years ago about something that I’m alleged to have said when I was a college student. And I think that most people realize if they were held to everything they may or may not have said when they were a college student we wouldn’t have anybody running for office,” Harold said.