By Tom McLaughlin | February 21, 2013 | | [Original Article]

A bill co-sponsored by state Rep. Matt Gaetz that Muslims have criticized as discriminatory passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

The so-called Application of Foreign Law bill would render “void and unenforceable” rulings or decisions based “on any foreign law, legal code or system” that does not provide “liberties, rights and privileges” guaranteed by the Florida or United States constitutions.

“I have the radical view that American courts should only apply American laws,” Gaetz said of the controversy the legislation has stirred.

Read the bill. >>

The bill passed out of the Civil Justice Subcommittee Gaetz chairs on Feb. 7. It cleared its second hurtle Thursday when the Judiciary Committee voted 11-2 to move it forward.

Its next stop will be the House floor when the Legislature convenes in March.

A Senate companion to the bill, S.B. 58, is co-sponsored by Greg Evers, R-Baker. It has not been addressed in committee since it was introduced.

Sharia is the moral code and religious law of Islam. It addresses secular legal issues as well as personal matters.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has denounced the House and Senate versions of the bill.

In a recent blog, David Barkey, general counsel for the Anti Defamation League, called on Florida lawmakers to denounce the proposed legislation. He called it “harmful and unnecessary anti-Sharia legislation.”

“The neutrally titled and worded ‘Application of Foreign Law’ bill, which applies to family law provisions, is nothing more than camouflaged bigotry,” Barkey said in a post submitted to the Tampa Bay Tribune. [Read More...]

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