Good Job, Florida

Good job
Oh, Florida. It was nice while it lasted, though.

Recently, The Daily Show aired a piece about the fact that in many states, women do not have the option to terminate the parental rights of their attacker if they become pregnant as a result of rape. Yes, beloved, in 21 states of this great nation, it’s possible that a woman could have to co-parent with her rapist. That’s just fucked up. Interestingly, one of the states that does have legislation to prevent this is Florida. Good job, guys. And, as Daily Show correspondent Sam Bee pointed out, that’s not something you get say very often.

If that has you worried that the apocalypse is upon us, rest easy; Florida returned to its true form this week when their House of Representatives passed HB 7111. Titled “Conscience Protection for Actions of Private Child-Placing Agencies”, this bill protects private child-placement organizations from prosecution and civil suits if they refuse to place a child in a home that “would violate agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies”. So much for that “Good job, guys”.

Of course, this bill says that agencies won’t have consider any home they feel violates their “written religious or moral convictions or policies”, but we know who they’re really talking about: the “gays”. Yes, because all gay people in the world have but one desire: to corrupt children with the idea that everyone should be able to love and live with the person that makes them happy. What an insidious idea.

Interestingly, unlike legislators in other states, the conservative proponents of Florida HB 7111 don’t make any bones about the bill’s purpose: discrimination. House Democrats tried multiple times to attach nondiscrimination amendments, but were rebuffed at every turn. One, that would have prevented the state from funding organizations that engaged in discriminatory practices, was met with this comment from sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jason Brodeur (R): “This amendment does the exact opposite of the entire bill. I would ask that you vote it down.” You have to admire his honesty, even if you hate what he’s being honest about.

Now, almost all of the current bills/laws centered around “religious freedom could very easily  come back and bite the proponents in the ass because it’s unconstitutional to make them applicable only to Christians. That means they could be used by Jews, Sikhs, Hindu’s and Muslims(?!?) to deny service to good, Christian folks. But, the Florida law has another apparently unforeseen consequence: it could open the door for discrimination against groups other than the dreaded “gay menace”. And, while in all too many parts of the United States, it’s perfectly okay to shit on people who are LGBTQ, it’s much less socially acceptable (not mention illegal) to discriminate against African-Americans, women (of the single, straight variety; lesbians, of course, are fair game) and other minorities. I wonder what would happen if a religiously conservative child-placement agency  refuses to place a child with a mixed-race family because they consider “miscegenation” a sin (these sects still exist).

One of the founding principles of this country is religious freedom. It was so important to our founding fathers that they included language guaranteeing it in the U. S. Constitution. I am fully in favor of the idea that every individual in this nation should be able to practice the belief of their choice in the way they see fit. What I’m not in favor of is people using freedom of religion to treat others like shit for whatever stupid ass reason they can come up with. If you want to be a fucking bigot, be one openly and don’t use God and the Bible to escape responsibility for your actions. That’s despicable.