A nearly four-decade-old law banning gays from adopting children, which hasn’t been enforced in five years, will come off Florida’s books July 1, but Gov. Rick Scott still wants private, religious-based adoption agencies to be able to turn gay couples away.
Scott signed a bill Thursday that removes the adoption ban enacted in the days when entertainer Anita Bryant crusaded against gays. It is part of a larger bill that promotes adoption, and striking the language simply reflects reality after a judge found the ban unconstitutional five years ago.
“This is incredibly personal for me because I was just a young man when Anita Bryant was pursuing her actions against the gay community,” said Rep. David Richardson, Florida’s first openly gay lawmaker and the Miami Beach Democrat who amended the adoption bill to remove the gay ban. “It was very disturbing to me to watch it and to see how much hate was being promoted.”
But now he’s celebrating!
“Who would have guessed I would be the one here to repeal a law that so personally affected me?” he said.