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District Court Rules FL Gay Adoption Ban Unconstitutional

The Florida 3rd District Court of Appeals upheld a circuit court ruling Wednesday that found a law banning gay and lesbian people from adopting children in Florida is unconstitutional. After the ruling, Florida Governor Charlie Crist immediately announced that the state would stop enforcing the law. District Court Judge Gerald Cope wrote in the decision, “It is difficult to see any rational basis in utilizing homosexual persons as foster parents or guardians on a temporary or permanent basis, while imposing a blanket prohibition on those same persons…All other persons are eligible to be considered case-by-case to be adoptive parents,” reported the Associated Press. Circuit court Judge Cindy S. Lederman ruled in 2008 that the law violated the equal protection guarantees of the state constitution as well as the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, a federal law that seeks to ensure the safety and well-being of children in the welfare system and protect children’s right to permanency. Martin Gill, who was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union in the suit, and his partner seek to adopt two brothers, now ages six and ten, who they have raised since 2004. Gill told the Associated Press that he.s hoping “to get their birth certificates with me listed as their father…I think the birth certificates are going to have a prominent place in our house. That will be the written proof of all of this struggle.” Joe Follick, spokesperson for the Florida state Department of Children and Families, told CNN, “We are analyzing the court’s opinion and wish to give any decision to appeal a thorough review…The primary consideration on whether to appeal is finding the balance between the value of a final ruling from the Florida Supreme Court versus the impact on the Gill family.”

Sources:

CNN 9/22/10; Associated Press 9/22/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/26/08