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Florida Senate strips controversial language from film tax bill

March 18, 2010 |  6:28 pm

The Florida Senate has removed controversial language about promoting "nontraditional family values" from  a film incentive bill

The original bill had required that films promoting "nontraditional family values" would not be eligible to receive a supplemental "family-friendly" tax credit. But the Senate today removed that requirement following complaints from the industry and gay rights groups that the language would discriminate against gay families.

"We thank the Senate for working with us to craft a bill that can create jobs without discriminating against a segment of Florida's families,'' said Georg Ketelhohn, chairman of Florida Together, a federation of groups promoting gay and lesbian rights.

The Florida House has yet to remove the offending language from a similar bill, although it is expected to do so. The bill's backer, a Republican legislator from Orlando, said his intent was to promote wholesome family entertainment as depicted in 1960s sitcom, "The Andy Griffith Show," set in the fictional North Carolina town of Mayberry and starring a freckle-faced apple pie kid named Ronny Howard.

-- Richard Verrier