Republican Legislator Laughingly Cuts Off 10-Year-Old Testifying Against Anti-Gay Adoption Bill (VIDEO)

Florida Republicans have apparently taken one look at what their counterparts in Indiana are doing and seethed with jealousy. Not to be outdone in sheer mean-spirited homophobia, legislators in the sunshine state have proposed a new bill that would give any state-funded adoption agencies the right to refuse to let gay people adopt the children in their care. And since most adoption agencies accept at least some state money, the Republicans are hoping this will mean Florida gay couples will be just out of luck.

In other words, Republicans took one look at the Indiana pizza parlor not serving gay people and asked, “Why not expand it to adoption agencies in our state?”

This bill actually comes on the heels of a beautiful gesture Florida’s House of Representatives had done last month which (symbolically) repealed the state law that had banned gay couples from adopting. It was a formality because of the small technicality that it was already obviously and profoundly unconstitutional, but a nice gesture nonetheless. To ruin all of that, Florida’s Republicans introduced this new bill that would – they hope – hurt gay couples even more than they had before the symbolic repeal. It’s no wonder the legislation has been nicknamed the “revenge” bill.

While discussing the potential anti-gay legislation at a recent House Judiciary Committee meeting, a small boy walked up to the podium and gave a heartfelt personal argument for why the politicians should think about the real harm this would have on kids in foster care that want a loving home and don’t particularly care what sexual orientation their new parents would be. 10-year-old Nathaniel Gill actually has a real stake in this because he and his brother are products of gay adoption and are extremely happy with their two dads.

Unfortunately, Gill wouldn’t get to say his whole statement because Committee Chair Charles McBurney (R-Obviously) cut him off before he had finished and told him his time was up. Laughing at the kid, McBurney instructs him to step away from the podium because those are the rules – but doesn’t mention that, as Committee Chair, he has the power to grant extra time. A power he does not exercise.

It’s likely that it wasn’t McBurney’s commitment to strict adherence of the “rules” that made him intervene, but the uncomfortable truths that Gill was laying on the group. It’s one thing to want to hurt gay people by allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against them based on an ideology of bigotry, but it’s hard to look a 10-year-old kid in the eyes and tell him he’d rather the boy languish in foster care than go to a loving family that a guy like McBurney doesn’t agree with.

A more self-aware person might have recognized their own discomfort and realized that maybe if it was just too painful to hear from an actual victim of the proposal than it’s a sign that the legislation is cruel and not a great idea. But that would take courage. Instead, McBurney laughed off the pain of a 10-year-old boy and hurried him away so he wouldn’t have to hear about it any more.

Stay classy, Florida Republicans.