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Questions Arise In Mayoral Candidate Julio Robaina’s Stance On Gay Rights

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MIAMI (CBS4) – Pro gay rights group, Save Dade, and socially conservative group, The Christian Family Coalition, both sent out voter guides to their thousands of members. That’s not unusual; they do it for every election. But what is strange is that they both say Miami-Dade mayoral candidate and current Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina is on their side when it comes to basic gay rights.

Christian Family Coalition director Anthony Verdugo says he and his advocacy group go way back with Robaina.

“We’ve always known the mayoral candidate to be a man of principle and a man of honor and dignity,” Verdugo told CBS4’s Natalia Zea.

Verdugo says Robaina has always been clear on his stance against gay marriage, and the rights of domestic partnerships.

“He supported marriages as the union of one man and one woman and would do nothing to support civil unions or domestic partnerships, and in fact on the latter he signed a marriage protective pledge not once but twice,” said Verdugo.

But C.J. Ortuno, director of pro gay rights group Save Dade says Robaina has shown he does support basic gay rights, including domestic partnerships.

In response to a Save Dade questionnaire Robaina wrote quote, “I support and believe that it is right for there to be a register of domestic partner relationships with the county to provide visitation rights and basic rights to domestic partners.” That quote was printed in The Miami Herald, CBS4’s news partner.

“Based on conversations that we’ve had with all the candidates, based on written committed responses we feel that not only is the nayor, but also the other candidates right there with us,” said Ortuno.

Verduga says Robaina will clear up this inconsistency.

“We’re very certain that he will immediately and very publicly clarify that his position on all these issues is consistent with the Christian Family Coalition….Which is not supporting domestic partnership.”

Late Tuesday night, Robaina’s spokesperson sent CBS4 News the following this statement:

“Mayor Robaina stands by the marriage protection pledges he signed which define and protect marriage and all of its benefits as the union of one man and one woman as defined by the Florida Constitution, overwhelmingly approved by voters in November, 2008.  Efforts to misconstrue Robaina’s position on this issue are absurd and politically driven.” 

CBS4 News tried all day to speak with Robaina to ask him specific questions on this issue. He did not grant an interview.

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