In 1977, Florida passed a law banning gays from adopting. Courts struck down that law as unconstitutional because it discriminated against gay men and lesbians, and because it kept children in foster care who could have been adopted by loving, able families.
In 1997, the state passed the Defense of Marriage Act, which banned gay men and lesbians from marrying. That law and a similar state constitutional amendment were also struck down for being discriminatory. This cost taxpayers of Florida countless dollars in legal fees to defend these discriminatory laws.
Now, the Republicans in the state Legislature are trying to pass a law to discriminate against transgender people, barring them from using appropriate public washrooms.
If HB 583 passes, we can expect it to be struck down again in another case that embarrasses Florida and costs taxpayers money that could be better spent on real issues such as unemployment, education and infrastructure.
Perhaps we can learn from the past and ask our government not to pass discriminatory, costly and unconstitutional laws.
Allan Barsky, Fort Lauderdale