Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Florida's gay-adoption ban unconstitutional, court rules

Florida's 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami ruled Wednesday that the state's 33-year-old ban on gay adoption is unconstitutional, unleashing cheers from the gay community and condemnations from conservatives.

A three-judge panel upheld a Miami court ruling that Martin Gill could adopt the two foster children he had been raising with his partner. The appeals court ruled that the ban on gay adoption was unconstitutional because it singled out gays as unfit parents.

Judge Gerald Cope, who wrote the opinion, said there was no evidence to show that gays were less effective than heterosexual parents.

"Given a total ban on adoption by homosexual persons, one might expect that this reflected a legislative judgment that homosexual persons are, as a group, unfit to be parents," Cope wrote. "To the contrary, the parties agree 'that gay people and heterosexuals make equally good parents.' "

Florida will immediately stop enforcing its ban on adoptions by gay people, Gov. Charlie Crist said Wednesday.

"It's a very good day for Florida," said Crist, who is running for U.S. Senate as an independent. "It's a very good day for children. Children deserve a loving home to be in, and the opportunity for judges to make this call on a case-by-case basis with every adoption I think is wonderful."

Florida's ban, the only law of its kind in the U.S., dates to 1977. Although gays are allowed to be foster parents, they are denied full adoption rights.

1 comment:

  1. This is a good ruling, and I hope it holds.

    It's great that there are now no more states that have draconian, regressive laws like this.