One week after striking down a ban on gay adoption a House panel on Thursday approved a proposed committee bill that would allow private child placing agencies to refuse to perform adoptions without risking their state contracts if the placement violates their religious or moral convictions. The proposed bill, PCB HHSC 15-03, was supported by the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Florida Eagle Forum, a self-described “pro-family” group, and opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Organization for Women and organizations representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocates, among others. Committee Chairman Jason Brodeur said the bill is necessary in light of the state’s move to eliminate the ban on gay adoption. Without the bill, he said, the private agencies “might likely have to shut down because they can’t reconcile their beliefs with the state.”
Florida’s 1977 ban on gay adoption was struck down by a Miami-Dade County court in 2008. The state appealed that ruling, but it was upheld in a 2010 state district appeals court decision. Following that appeals court ruling then-Gov. Charlie Crist announced that the ban would no longer be enforced, making last week’s House strike down of the 1977 statute merely symbolic. That symbolic gesture must still be approved by the Florida Senate and Gov. Rick Scott.
Enter hate group leader John Stemberger, who yesterday sent a letter to all Florida legislators, telling them that the 2010 ruling only applies to the counties under the jurisdiction of the appeals court and that the Department of Children & Families is infested with pro-gay workers anyway.
The DCA decision is merely “persuasive” authority but it is not binding authority statewide. The opinion of Adoption of XXG, is binding or controlling authority, only within Miami-Dade and Monroe counties where the jurisdiction of the Third District Court of Appeals lies. Further, the opinion was decided on highly questionable legal grounds because the court “discovered” Florida’s Constitution was somehow suddenly in conflict with Florida’s Statutes. DCF has for many years ignored the law and placed children with homosexuals for the simple reason that the agency is filled at a local level with pro-gay rights employees. DCF has ignored and side-stepped the prohibition in Florida’s law for many years and placed children with homosexual parents. DCF would place homosexuals as foster parents (which Florida law allows as a non-permanent placement) and then just arrange for adoptions for those persons and look the other way as to the gay man’s “roommate” or “friend.” Because of the false cover of Adoption of XXG opinion, the agency continues the same practice, but now openly and aggressively.
To sum up, the haters are vowing to stop the final approval of a bill striking down a moot law and they want to legalize anti-gay discrimination by adoption agencies.
RELATED: Stemberger, you may recall, has declared that the battle against same-sex marriage is “worth dying for.” He’s also the head of Trail Life USA, the anti-Boy Scouts group.