UPDATE: From the Human Rights Campaign.
Proponents of this troubling legislation were unsuccessful yesterday in making the language an amendment to a broader adoption overhaul bill in the Senate (SB 320), but members of the Florida House of Representatives could vote for passage of their discriminatory adoption bill (HB 7111) as early as today. HB 7111 passed through the House Judiciary Committee with a vote of 11-4 on April 2nd. The bill strips otherwise eligible, prospective parents of legal recourse if they’ve been discriminated against and prohibits the state from withholding taxpayer money from agencies discriminating against qualified families. One of the cruelest consequences of the bill is that it would allow agencies to refuse to place foster children with members of their extended families – a practice often considered to be in the best interest of the child – based on the relative’s marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, political affiliation, or religion. A loving, unmarried grandparent, for example, or a stable, welcoming relative of a different faith could be deemed unsuitable under the proposed law.
UPDATE II: The bill passed overwhelmingly and entirely along party lines.