Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Florida Anti Gay Adoption Bill

As Indiana struggles with the growing political & economic backlash over its so-called religious freedom law Florida lawmakers are pursuing a similar bill that would allow adoption agencies to discriminate against gay people by invoking a personal religious objection. Florida legislative leaders also are refusing to allow a vote on a bipartisan bill that would add LGBT protections to the state’s nondiscrimination law. Nadine Smith Equality Florida CEO stated, “Lawmakers should choose equal protection over discrimination. The adoption bill (H.B. 7111) will be heard at 8A by the House Judiciary Committee. Even its sponsor, State Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, acknowledged in a previous hearing that his “conscience protection” bill would allow both secular & faith-based agencies to discriminate against any class of people they choose, so long as they claim their decision is part of their “religious or moral convictions. Florida lawmakers can seize this moment to send a clear message that we are a state where discrimination has no place & where hard work & talent matter, by rejecting this Indiana-style adoption bill. We also call on the legislature to fast-track the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, a statewide non-discrimination bill that is backed by Florida business and enjoys strong bipartisan support.” The hastily written bill was introduced mid-session, in response to the House unexpectedly voting to eliminate Florida’s ban on gay & lesbian adoptions. The ban had not been enforced since 2010 when an appellate court ruled it unconstitutional but it remains on the books. Indiana lawmakers were similarly motivated, introducing their bill as a counter to gay couples marrying. Indiana is now reeling from a spontaneous boycott that has already cost the state millions in new jobs lost & business cancelled. Hopefully the Florida bill will be nipped in the bud.
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