The International Business Times reminds us about the time that then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush granted a $600,000 tax break to an American Family Association subsidiary which was marketing a web filter that blocked LGBT-related and porn sites.
It was May 2001, only a few years after a hot-button debate over congressional legislation aiming to censor the Internet of indecent content. Bush’s administration and Florida county officials agreed to award a $600,000 tax subsidy package to Bsafe Online, a subsidiary of the AFA. That company produced Web filter technology to prevent Internet users from seeing pornography or information about homosexual relationships or transgender identities.
“I welcome this high-tech, pro-family business to Florida,” Bush said in a news release. “As the Internet continues to influence our daily lives, parents have an increasingly difficult time monitoring what their children are exposed to on the computer. BsafeOnline.com is a great example of how the private sector can assist families to protect their children from aspects of the Internet which they deem negative.”
At the time, AFA was leading a boycott against the Walt Disney Co. for promoting the “gay agenda” and hosting “Gay Days” at its theme parks in Orlando, Florida. Liberal activists called on Bush to reverse his support for the AFA-backed company, BSafe, accusing the AFA of bigotry, recently released emails show. The organization was later labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Spokesmen for Bush and the AFA have declined to comment on the above-linked reminder.