Anthony Verdugo apparently eating a microphone

Anthony Verdugo, head of Florida’s Christian Family Coalition, is like a tormented dog chasing its tail. It never accomplishes anything and there is no discernible end to the creature’s whirlwind. Unfortunately Mr. Verdugo does not pause to respond to email. Indeed I have some unanswered questions for him.

Last night Verdugo sent an email to supporters titled “HB 7013 News Update.”

Homosexual Adoption Bill Given Temporary Approval by Florida House.

Fight is far from over!

MIAMI-On Tuesday, March 11th, the GOP-controlled Florida House of Representatives gave preliminary approval to
HB-7013, a homosexual adoption bill opposed by a coalition of over one dozen bipartisan human rights organizations including Christian Family Coalition (CFC) Florida.

There is nothing “temporary” about the fact that the Florida House has passed HB-7013. Nor, for that matter, is there anything “preliminary” about the bill’s passage. Moreover, when did CFC become a “human rights organization?” What have they done to merit that distinction? Whose human rights are they defending? Later on he adds his statement:

While we are disappointed by this vote, we applaud the courageous legislators, most of whom stood up to their own party leaders and voted ‘NO’ on HB-7013. We look forward to the upcoming debate in the State Senate on this important adoption bill which does not contain any language related to homosexual adoption

It “does not contain any language related to homosexual adoption?” Here is the bill in part (emphasis added):

An act relating to adoption and foster care; amending s. 39.0016, F.S.; revising requirements for agreements between the Department of Children and Families and specified entities for the provision of educational services; amending s. 63.042, F.S.; deleting a prohibition against adoption by persons who are homosexual;

I doubt that Mr. Verdugo is going to have any better luck in the Senate. The Senate version (SB-320) has received unanimous approval in three Republican controlled committees. The reasons that this is sailing through the Republican dominated legislature are simple:

  1. The existing language in the section is irrelevant. In 2010 a state appeals court upheld a ruling by a lower court that the law violated equal protection rights of both would-be adoptive parents and children under the Florida Constitution. Governor Crist declined to appeal the ruling further. The legislature is simply conforming the section to the law as it exists; Florida may not prohibit gays from adopting. It’s a done deal. It’s been done for almost five years and the fact that Florida now recognizes gay marriage only adds to the certainty that this is beyond any possible legal maneuver.
  2. Local and state chambers of commerce are putting enormous pressure on Republicans to make Florida more LGBT friendly. Aside from tourism doing so allows businesses to attract better talent — not only gay workers and their families but others who feel more at ease in a socially progressive environment. Those same businesses that support the chambers are the Republican base. They don’t want us to look like a bunch of religious yahoos.

If you interrupted his tail chase and hit Mr. Verdugo in the head with a hammer he still wouldn’t get it. Perhaps he is Anita Bryant in drag.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.