April 9, 2015
– The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) applauds today's passage of HB 7111, Conscience Protection for Private Child-Placing Agencies, by the Florida House of Representatives.
As noted in earlier debate in the House, FCCB echoes, "HB 7111 is a shield, not a sword." This legislation preserves the freedom of religious organizations to place Florida's children in need of adoption with loving families while adding no new barriers to the adoption process for any qualified Florida residents.
The religious beliefs that this bill seeks to protect arise from the same deeply-held convictions that have prompted people of faith to serve the neediest of Florida's children for decades. Conscience protections prohibit discrimination of religious adoption agencies by the State and recognize and respect their freedom to serve. "Today's passage of HB 7111 gives encouragement that the longstanding good work by people of faith to unite children with families through adoption and foster care will continue," said Michael Sheedy, executive director.
The FCCB commends the Florida House of Representatives for passage of HB 7111 and lauds Chairman Brodeur for championing critical conscience protections. The Florida Senate is urged to take up this measure and ensure the freedom to serve for private child-placing agencies.
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The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops is an agency of the Catholic Bishops of Florida. The archbishop and bishops of the seven (arch)dioceses in Florida constitute its board of directors.