Rubio Voted for Florida’s ‘Scarlet Letter’ Bill

That bill passed in Florida while Jeb Bush was governor that required single mothers to publish their sexual histories in the newspaper before being allowed to put their child up for adoption has been getting a lot of attention lately. Guess who voted for it? Marco Rubio.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R) was among the Florida state legislators who voted for the so-called “Scarlet Letter” law in 2001 that required single mothers to publish their sexual histories in the newspaper in order to place their babies up for adoption.

Five U.S. congressmen — Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R), Lois Frankel (D), Jeff Miller (R), Gus Bilirakis (R) and Dennis Ross (R) — were state legislators at the time and voted for the controversial bill. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), Frederica Wilson (D), Daniel Webster (R) and Bill Posey (R), who were also state legislators back then, voted against it.

The law, which passed with overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate, required unwed moms who wished to put their babies up for adoptions to post details about their recent sexual encounters in the newspaper in an attempt to contact the father, even if the woman was a victim of rape or incest. The purpose of the bill was to inform estranged biological fathers that their children were being adopted and give them the chance to intervene.

That claim is absurd. If that was the concern, there are other ways to do it without forcing women to publish their sexual histories. They could achieve the same thing far more efficiently by having the woman give the names to the adoption agency and having the agency contact the men. Putting it in the newspaper is the worst possible way to do it. It exposes incredibly private information to untold masses of people without any knowledge of whether the target of that information will see it. It’s just a shaming technique and the real shame should be on those who voted for it.

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  • erichoug

    A terrible bill that served no other purpose than to allow terrible people to treat people in a bad situation terribly.

    They ought to beashamed of themselves and they ought to apologize for ever rationalizing to themselves that this was a good idea.

    I had an argument with a Libertarian squirrel moron in the comments on Salon about this bill. After about 1/2 hour I think he had a blinding flash of the obvious and deleted all of his idiotic posts on the topic.

  • John Pieret

    And why should a woman have to describe in the newspaper the details of her rape? Oh, right! If it was a “legitimate rape” she wouldn’t be having a baby at all!

  • Larry

    Coming next to a GOP legislature: The Game Of Thrones Sinner Walk-of-Shame

    On the final episode of GoT last night, Cersei was made to confess her sins. For that, she was stripped naked and forced to walk from where she was being held to the castle with a nun behind her, ringing a bell and continually intoning “Shame! Shame!”. Meanwhile, people were throwing fruit and vegetables, and shit at her for the entire walk. Literally, this went on for 5 minutes. (OT: props to Lena Headey for what must have been an excruciating scene to film.)

    There have to be those in Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas who looked at that scene and thought to themselves “what a great way to punish the sluts. I’ll propose just such a thing tomorrow.”.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Larry “(OT: props to Lena Headey for what must have been an excruciating scene to film.)”

    Also, on wide shots, her body double. I use a body double for much the same reason. Granted, the body double is also me, but the thought there.

  • raven

    It exposes incredibly private information to untold masses of people without any knowledge of whether the target of that information will see it.

    It’s also unenforceable.

    1. There would be a large number of virgin births in Florida. Meaning god and the Holy Spirit are on vacation in FLorida and bored.

    2. Many women would put down the father as…Jeb Bush. Other popular names would be David Koch, Howard Green of Hobby Lobby, Franklin Graham, and Glenn Beck, who could at least pay child support. A common one would be Some Guy (I met in a bar.)

    3. Most states already have a state department to chase down the fathers anyway. Child Protective Services etc.. Paying child support is a legal requirement.

    They are often appalled with what they find. In many cases the alleged fathers are in prison, drug and alcohol addicts, low education and unemployed, convicted child molestors, etc..

    PS Who reads newspapers these days anyway? Actually I do but online along with other news aggregators.

    But as Ed pointed out, many of these target fathers probably never look at one.

  • busterggi

    Any chance we could get a federal law requiring all presidential candidates to publish their sexual histories?

  • frankgturner

    @ busterigi

    I have suggested that in order to run for office all politicians give up their right to privacy permanently. See who runs then.

  • Synfandel

    @7 frankgturner wrote:

    I have suggested that in order to run for office all politicians give up their right to privacy permanently. See who runs then.

    Yeah, ‘cuz the current slate isn’t pathetic enough.

  • https://www.facebook.com/caroline.zink.hott Caroline Abbott

    In addition to the state enforcing privacy violations and First Amendment problems (and who, please tell me, must pay the costs of publication?), women who post publicly that they wish to adopt out their prospective infants are going to attract a lot of attention from traffickers. Florida works overtime to punish women, especially those whose sex lives are disapproved by the puritans in public office, and undercuts existing provisions to protect children.