Florida lawmakers have reversed course
on targeting films that include gay characters.
Lawmakers considering a package of tax
credits and incentives to entice filmmakers to set up shop in Florida
have ditched a so-called family-friendly tax credit which sought to
discourage the production of movies that include depictions of gay
The requirement that a tax credit only
be available to films that do not exhibit or imply “nontraditional
family values” was stricken from the House version of the bill on
Thursday. A Senate committee removed the language from a similar
measure last week.
The moves come after a Palm Beach
Post story triggered a large protest led by rights group Florida
“We applaud the House Finance and Tax
Council for decisively removing the problem language, so that the
bill can create jobs without discrimination against non-traditional
families,” Georg Katelhohn, chairman of Florida Together, a
coalition of more than 80 groups which support equal rights for all
Florida families, including gay families, said in a statement.
Senator David Aronberg applauded the
group's efforts to amend the bill.
“I am proud the Legislature saw the
difference between creating jobs in Florida and rewarding
discrimination,” he said.
Senator Don Gaetz, a Republican from
Niceville, sponsored the Senate version of the bill.
Representative Stephen Precourt, an
Orlando Republican, told the Post that his House bill did not
target the gay community. But when asked if movies with gay
characters should get the tax credit, he said, “That would not be
the kind of thing I'd say we want to invest public dollars in.”
Representative Ari Porth, a Democrat,
removed his name from the House version of the bill after the media
reported on its anti-gay provision.