A controversial bill that would allow private adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples appears ready to die Friday with the end of the regular legislative session. House members passed the so-called “conscience protection” bill (HB 7111), but it did not reach the Senate floor.
The 60-day session will end Friday, though it has already effectively shut down after the House adjourned Tuesday. The bill was primarily designed for adoption agencies with religious affiliations whose beliefs prevent them from placing children with gay and lesbian prospective parents. But opponents said it could lead to discrimination against gay and lesbian people, as well as other groups.
The House moved forward with the bill after an outcry from social conservatives about another adoption bill. The other bill (HB 7013), approved by the House and Senate, focuses on providing incentives for state workers to adopt foster children. But it also includes a provision repealing a decades-old legal ban on gay adoption in Florida. The ban essentially ended in 2010, when an appeals court ruled against it, but it has remained in law.