Written by: Dr. Richard Swier
The Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC) won a major victory in Jacksonville last year when a sexual orientation and gender identity ordinance was soundly defeated. The FFPC is now focusing on bills being introduced by the Florida legislature during the 2013 session. According to the FFPC website, “The Florida Family Policy Council is committed to strengthening marriage and family structures, protecting innocent human life and defending our religious liberties. One of the ways we influence culture in these areas is by engaging our elected officials in Tallahassee.”
The FFPC website lists the following bills as “bad”:
HB 139 by Rep. Pafford SB 166 by Sen. Sobel
HB 247 by Rep. Randolph SB 340 by Sen. Rich
These bills would add sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to the list of protected classes in Florida’s Civil Rights Act. It would prohibit employers with more than 15 employees from discriminating in their hiring practices against persons based on their sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. For more information on these bills, click here for the House version and here for the Senate version.
HJR 353 by Rep. Clemens SJR 1028 by Sen. Bullard
These bills would allow the medicinal use of cannabis in Florida. For more information on this bill, click here.
HB 487 by Rep. Fresen SB 710 by Sen. Bogdanoff
HB 563 by Rep. Gonzalez SB 1016 by Sen. Garcia
These bills create a new pari-mutuel in Florida called the Breeders Cup Permanent Meet. For more information on these bills, click here.
The FFPC Legislative Agenda page states:
We are looking to build on the successes of last session on protecting life in Florida. This year, we are promoting legislation that will prohibit abortions during the third trimester or after a baby is viable unless the abortion is required to save the life of the mother or to prevent severe and irreversible impairment of the mother. It would also grant the same rights to an infant born alive during an attempted abortion that any natural born infant would have and requires physicians to do all in his power to preserve the life and health of that baby.
We are also supporting legislation that would empower school board[s] to authorize student led prayers at non-compulsory assemblies.
We will be opposing legislation that would allow full-scale destination casinos in Florida. The casino industry has invested millions into this effort to dramatically expand the scope of gambling that is available in our state. The Florida Family Policy Council continues to stand against the expansion of gambling in Florida.
We also will be working against legislation that would create domestic partnerships in Florida.
To see the entire FFPC legislative list of good and bad bills click here.