Until five years ago, Florida had the most draconian anti-gay adoption laws in the entire country. Even a single, celibate gay person was banned from adopting in the state. That law was struck down in 2010, but the Florida House is intent on bringing back some homophobia to the state's adoption laws.
A bill that would allow private adoption agencies to discriminate against homosexuals passed the House today 75-38, largely along party lines. Opponents have likened the bill to Indiana's "Freedom to Discriminate" law, though the Florida bill has a much narrower scope.
The bill is essentially a face-saving move among House Republicans. Republican Rep. Jason T. Brodeur introduced a bill that would make several changes to the state's adoption and foster parent laws. As a matter of housekeeping, it would have officially removed Florida's ban on gay parenting from the statues.
Though a judge had ruled that law unconstitutional and unenforceable, only the legislature can officially move to have the language completely removed from law. That bill had easily passed in the House last month.
This angered some social conservatives, though, and Brodeur felt enough pressure to introduce this "Conscience Protection for Actions of Private Child-Placing Agencies" bill.
It may, however, turn out to be nothing but a stunt, at least for now, as no companion bill has been filed in the Senate.
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