**UPDATE** – Governor Scott has signed HB 7013 into law. Click the link below to let the governor know you are disappointed with his action on this bill.
BACKGROUND: HB 7013 was passed by the Florida legislature during the regular legislative session and was signed into law by Governor Scott on Thursday, June 11. In addition to providing adoption incentives for state employees, HB 7013 was amended to strike from Florida law a long-standing prohibition on adoption by homosexual persons.
A 2010 ruling by Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal has opened the door to adoption by same-sex couples to become the practice throughout our state. However, considering the redefinition of marriage by the courts, striking the ban without also passing conscience protections will likely result in legal challenges to religious agencies that prefer to place children with a mother and a father.
Recognizing that children are best served when raised by a mother and a father is not meant to denigrate the dignity of those who are making necessary and often heroic sacrifices to raise children in other circumstances. However, society must reaffirm the right of children to the greatest extent possible to grow up in a family with a mother and a father with unique abilities capable of creating the most beneficial environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity.
Conscience protections ensure that people of faith maintain the freedom to serve the children and families of our state in accord with both their religious convictions and the law, while adding no new barriers to the adoption process for any qualified persons. Without such a policy, Catholic Charities in Massachusetts, Illinois and California have had no choice but to severely restrict or discontinue their child-placement services.
TAKE ACTION: Despite the positive adoption incentives in the bill, please let Governor Rick Scott know you are disappointed that he has signed HB 7013 into law without protections for religious child-placing agencies. http://www.flaccb.org/FLCAN/index.php?vvsrc=%2fCampaigns%2f41285%2fRespond