According to the Associated Press article on Jacksonville.com, a law that bans same-sex couples from adopting children is being removed from Florida’s books July 1st. The law is decades old, but it hasn’t been enforced in five years. However, Gov. Rick Scott claims that private or religious-based adoption agencies should have the right to deny adoption applications by gay couples.
The bill signed by Gov. Scott promotes adoption. Striking the ban on same-sex adoptions is confirmation of a judge’s ruling from five years ago that the ban was unconstitutional.
Yet, some conservatives believe that the ban should remain as a law. They claim that there are still certain areas where it could be enforced. Although the effort to distinguish between private adoption agencies ability to deny assistance to gay couples seeking to adopt, Gov. Scott is asking lawmakers to consider the issue again in their next regular session.
“Florida’s laws must protect the free exercise of religious liberty and faith while protecting Floridians from illegal discrimination. These are not, and never should be, mutually exclusive pursuits,” Scott wrote in a letter explaining his decision to sign the bill.
Interesting, the Florida bill signing occurred on the same day Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill that allows faith-based adoption agencies to turn away gays who want to adopt.
Advocates of Florida gay rights have celebrated Scott for signing the bill. Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality in Florida stated “We are thrilled that this ugly chapter in Florida’s history has been closed for good. Thousands upon thousands of children live with the security and permanency of a forever home because the courts struck down the ban. Now the lingering insult has been erased as well.”
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