A controversial bill that critics say is rooted in anti-Sharia legislation and proponents say merely ensures U.S. and Florida rights are guaranteed in court is dead this session. It's the third year the bill, which called for American law to trump foreign law that isn't constitutional in family courts in Florida, has failed.
The bill was scheduled for a third reading Friday, but it would have taken a unanimous vote to advance the bill in the Senate. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, decided not to try for a unanimous vote because on Thursday, the bill (SB 58) failed to get the two-thirds vote needed to bring it to the Senate floor and the vote was 25-14, one vote short.
While its sponsors and supporters, including the Christian Family Coalition, say the bill isn't targeting religious groups or any particular country and was protecting rights of women, the bill was protested during the year by some Islamic and Jewish organizations as well as the American Civil Liberties Union and Family Law section of the Florida Bar.
The bill passed the House April 18th by a vote of 79-39.