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Uterus uproar? Silly, House Speaker says

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon said there’s nothing to a Democrat’s accusations that he was scolded for saying ‘uterus’ on the House floor during debate last week.

State Rep. Scott Randolph’s suggestion that his wife should “incorporate her uterus” to keep government out of it went national this week with his appearance on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show.

The to-do prompted a fashion craze in the Capitol this week – women (and men) are sporting pink buttons bearing the word ‘UTERUS’ on them.

Randolph said he was chastised by GOP leaders for saying ‘uterus’ on the floor.

“That is silly,” Cannon, R-Winter Park, told reporters this morning. Cannon said he hasn’t spoken with Randolph, D-Orlando, in weeks.

The Speaker said he never banned the use of the word ‘uterus’ and went on to bash Randolph, who used the term during debate on a union bill.

“One of the reasons why he is probably one of the least effective members of the Democratic caucus is he substitutes things that have provocative value or shock value rather than making a policy argument,” Cannon said. “Not only have I not spoken to him, not reprimanded him, nor had any conversation with him, we haven’t banned the word uterus from the floor.”

Randolph, also a lawyer, disagreed.

“I think I’m the most effective at calling out their radical agenda,” Randolph said. “A Legislature that is bought and sold by the Florida Chamber of Commerce will not let us pass bills that effectively protect the middle-class and effectively protect women from their radical agenda.”

Uterus incorporation goes national

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Florida state Rep. Scott Randolph’s suggestion that his wife should “incorporate her uterus” to keep government out of it prompted his appearance last night on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show.

Last week, House GOP leaders chastised the Orlando Democrat for using the word “uterus” during debate on the House floor.

Randolph’s argument: Republicans believe in less regulation when it comes to businesses, but are trying to impose greater regulations on women with the 18 anti-abortion measures now floating between the two chambers. Randolph suggested his wife should “incorporate her uterus” to keep government out of it.

Meanwhile, the Florida ACLU launched a tongue-in-cheek website, “incorporatemyuterus.com,” urging women to “sign up” to protect abortion rights.

“Businesses get special treatment these days. If lawmakers and other politicians see your uterus and your body as a business, maybe they’ll work to get government out of the uterus regulation business as they do for every other company,” the website advises.

Senate finally allows debate on gay adoption

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Senate President Jeff Atwater allowed Democrats to talk about repealing the state’s gay adoption ban during the afternoon session today.

Sen. Nan Rich has tried and failed for the past four years to have her bills that would do away with Florida’s 33-year-old prohibition against gay couples or individuals adopting.

But today, Atwater allowed Sen. Charlie Justice to offer an amendment on a bill that would prohibit adoption agencies from discriminating against gun owners. Justice’s amendment proposed a similar prohibition for discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“Whether a person owns a gun or not has no bearing on his or her ability to be a loving parent,” Rich, D-Weston, said.

The ban on gay adoption is a “far graver inequality,” she said, and is “a law grounded on fear and ignorance rather than in sound public policy.”

Gay couples are allowed to be foster parents but are barred from permanently adopting the children. More than 3,000 Florida kids are waiting to be adopted and about 25,000 of them live in foster care.

A state appeals court is currently considering whether the law is unconstitutional, as some judges have recently ruled. The 1st District Court of Appeals could rule at any time on a case in which a judge allowed Martin Gill, a gay Miami-Dade County man, to adopt two foster children who have been in his care for years. The state is appealing the adoptions.

“I know this amendment is not going to pass today and that Florida’s discriminatory adoption ban will not fall today,” Rich concluded. ”It’s been four year since there’s been any debate on this issue in any official Senate proceeding in any Senate committee and it’s been 33 years since this issue has been debated on the floor of this chamber. It’s about time we did something about that.”

Justice, D-St. Petersburg, withdrew the amendment before a vote could be taken.

Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, offered a similar amendment on the House floor this afternoon. He also withdrew the measure before it could be voted on.

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