Florida Senate repeals gay adoption ban
Florida’s Senate has voted to repeal the ban on same-sex couples adopting children that dates from 1977.
Although the ban has not been enforced for many years, and was ruled unconstitutional, it remained on the books. The new adoption laws approved by the Senate are the first to officially repeal the ban.
It passed the Senate 27-11 and now passes to Governor Rick Scott.
Senator Don Gaetz, who is a Republican, supported the bill, calling the ban “meaningless,” “a sleeping, comatose dead dog,” and “that archaic, dusty, dead law.”. He said: “We don’t need to turn the social clock in this state back to 1977.”
Republican Senator Alan Hays voted against the bill specifically because of its repeal of the ban, saying: “This bill does some very good things, but there is a poison pill in this bill that will not allow me to vote for it. Put the politics aside and vote for the long-term interests of the children.”
However, there is still the question of a “conscience clause” that would exempt religious organisations, and allow them to discriminate against same-sex couples, which just passed the House and now moves to the Senate.
Jason Brodeur, who sponsored the conscience clause, said: “There’s nothing in this bill that says the community you are talking about, the gay community, can’t adopt. This bill is about preventing discrimination based on our 1st Amendment religious freedom.
“If you are thinking about adopting a child, go do it. Gay, heterosexual — go do it. f there is one thing that I hate, it’s the thought of intolerance and selfishness getting in the way of uniting one of those children with a forever family.”
US Senator for Florida, Marco Rubio, who just announced his presidential bid, once declared the issue of same-sex adoption a “social experiment” and suggested it was unfair to disadvantaged children.