Florida is not good at removing outdated laws from its legislation, even when they're not enforced anymore. Technically, it's still illegal for an unmarried and unrelated man and a woman to live together in this state, after all.
However, a new bill that would officially remove the ban on gay parents adopting children has gained support in the House. Even from Republicans.
Dating back to the days of Anita Bryant's anti-gay crusades in Florida of the '70s, the state's gay adoption ban was ruled unconstitutional in 2008. In 2010, then-Gov. Charlie Crist signaled that his administration would not appeal the ruling, effectively ending the decades-old ban. The ban was one of the few in the nation that specifically targeted gay parents. It even forbid single homosexual parents from adopting.
However, the language still remains in the state bylaws.
Republican Jaston T. Brodeur introduced a wide-ranging adoption and foster care bill that includes erasing those laws.
The meat of the bill would provide community-based care organizations with financial assistance for helping Florida Department of Children & Families place children with adoptive families and hope to increase adoptions in the state. It also hopes to encourage older children who have been passed around the foster care system into permanent adoptive families.
But the law wasn't shy about its intention of deleting the gay adoption ban. It's specifically stated on the sixth line of the bill, right before it clarifies that the state can't deny an adoption because the parents want to educate the child at home. It also makes other tweaks to the state's foster care and adoption laws.
Obviously, homophobic groups like the Florida Family Policy Council came out against the overall pro-family bill, but their sway appears to be waning in the state Capitol.
The bill passed in the Republican-controlled House 68-50, and many of those "nay" votes had to do with objections to other parts of the law.
Even Rep. Frank Artiles, the man behind a transphobic bathroom bill, voted for the law.
"I am not a homophobe. I am not a transphobe. I am a father," Artiles said according to the Palm Beach Post.
A Senate version of the bill is currently making its way through committee.
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