Rubio Voted for Florida’s ‘Scarlet Letter’ Bill

Rubio Voted for Florida’s ‘Scarlet Letter’ Bill June 15, 2015

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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