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AG Candidate Under Fire After Previous Gay Adoption Comments Resurface

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Same-sex parenting is the new flash-point in the race for attorney general, after alleged comments candidate Erika Harold made about adoption as a contestant in the 2003 Miss America pageant resurfaced.

Harold, then 20-years-old, was asked about placing foster kids in either a gay or non-gay home.

"Under pressure, Harold reportedly stated she would choose to place a child in an abusive heterosexual home rather than with a loving gay couple," 1998 Miss America winner Kate Shindle wrote in her book Being Miss America.

Harold is now being hit from both the right and the left.

"I'm asking that Erika Harold withdraw as a candidate," challenger Gary Grasso said. "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."

Sen. Kwame Raoul called her remarks "outrageous," further saying, "Somebody is not fit to serve as attorney general in a non-discriminatory way if they would have the judgement of placing a child in a home with a history of child abuse based on their prejudices."

In a statement, Harold said she "does not recall the specific exchange alleged by anonymous sources."

Raoul says he has evolved from teasing gays in high school to now embracing gay marriage. "Teasing as a high schooler that I was immature then and I was not evolved, and I acknowledge that. I acknowledged that publicly during the debate of gay marriage."

As does Grasso. "It's the law. I would support the law," he said. "I believe a loving couple, such as indicated here, should be able to adopt."

After coming under attack Friday, Harold's campaign issued the following statement: "When Erika was 20-years-old, she didn't support same-sex adoption. Like many others, Erika has changed. She acknowledges that position was wrong and now strongly supports same-sex adoption and foster placement."

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