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Florida Adoption Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

Jim Burroway

November 25th, 2008

Miami-Date Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman has declared Florida’s gay adoption ban unconstitutional, saying, “It is clear that sexual orientation is not a predictor of a person’s ability to parent.” This ruling grants Frank Gill, a gay foster father in North Miami, the go-ahead to adopt two foster children he has been raising since 2004. The two children are ages 4 and 8, making Frank virtually the only parent the younger child has ever known.

Lawyers for the state of Florida immediately said they would appeal the ruling. During the hearings, attorneys for the state brought in so-called “experts” George Rekers and Walter Schumm, both of whom are closely associated with Paul Cameron. Rekers used his own particular brand of junk science to support the state’s position that gays should be barred from adopting, adding that he believed the ban should extend to Native Americans for the same reasons.

I’m very interested in obtaining a copy of Judge Lederman’s ruling. Her evaluation of the state’s “experts” could be very entertaining.

Update: More quotes from Judge Lederman’s ruling via the Associated Press:

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman said the 31-year-old law violates equal protection rights for the children and their prospective gay parents, rejecting the state’s arguments that there is “a supposed dark cloud hovering over homes of homosexuals and their children.” She also noted that gay people are allowed to be foster parents in Florida.

…”There is no ‘morality’ interest with regard to one group of individuals permitted to form the visage of a family in one context but prohibited in another,” Lederman wrote in a 53-page decision. “There is no rational basis to prohibit gay parents from adopting.”

…Lederman rejected all the state’s arguments soundly. “It is clear that sexual orientation is not a predictor of a person’s ability to parent,” the judge wrote. “A child in need of love, safety and stability does not first consider the sexual orientation of his parent. The exclusion causes some children to be deprived of a permanent placement with a family that is best suited to their needs.”

Update: It looks like Judge Lederman ruled based on what was best for these particular children.  From the Orlando Sentinel:

“These children are thriving. These words we don’t often hear within these walls. That’s uncontroverted,” said Circuit Judge Cindy S. Lederman. “They’re a good family. They’re a family in every way except in the eyes of the law. These children have a right to permanancy,” the judge said. “The only real permanancy is adoption in the home where they are thriving. … There is no rational basis to preclude homosexuals from adopting.”

Comments

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L. Junius Brutus
November 25th, 2008 | LINK

What is interesting is that Florida allows sex offenders and even child molesters to adopt on a case-by-case basis. But not gay people. The Christian Taliban cares too much about children to allow us to do that. On the other hand, child molesters (with whom they don’t have a blood feud), meh, whatever.

David C.
November 25th, 2008 | LINK

Next stop, Arkansas?

Passage of Act 1 (the name of the ballot measure) on the 2008 ballot in Arkansas banned adoption by unmarried individuals, effectively blocking adoption by gay couples. Let’s hope that it gets defeated in the courts too.

(From http://www.ontopmag.com):
“The Family Council Action Committee (FCAC) is the primary backer responsible for getting the anti-gay measure on the November ballot. The Little Rock, AR-based organization is also largely responsible for passage of a constitutional ban against gay marriage in Arkansas in 2004.”

Let’s hope that perspective gay adoptive parents in Arkansas don’t have to wait 31 years.

At least the safety-net provided by the courts continues to function, albeit somewhat slowly.

For now.

Alas, a blog » Blog Archive » Florida Adoption Ban Ruled Unconstitutional: “These Children Are Thriving,” Says Judge
November 25th, 2008 | LINK

[...] Box Turtle Bulletin, some great news: Miami-Date Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman has declared Florida’s gay adoption ban [...]

Joel
November 26th, 2008 | LINK

“At least the safety-net provided by the courts continues to function, albeit somewhat slowly.

For now.

Yes… that is the most distressing part. I would love to hear the science behind the adoption ban of gay parents, just because i would even more greatly like to hear the rebuttal.

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