Tuesday, November 25, 2008

GMT # 2 - Obama Rally In Kansas City - Part 1

Florida's Anti-gay Adoption Ban Ruled "Unconstitutional"

Once Again, Florida's Anti-gay Adoption Ban Ruled "Unconstitutional"

For the second time this year, a Florida Circuit Court Judge has ruled that Florida¢s 30-year-old adoption ban is unconstitutional.

Today, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman declared Florida's anti-gay adoption ban unconstitutional. In the 53-page ruling, Judge Lederman said, "It is clear that sexual orientation is not a predictor of a person's ability to parent.''

As a result of today¢s ruling, Frank Gill, a gay man from North Miami, will move forward with the adoption of his two foster sons, 8 and 4 year-old half brothers, whom he has raised since 2004.

Gill was represented by the ACLU of Florida while the Florida Attorney General's Office, representing the Department of Children and Families, opposed the adoption. Representatives of the Attorney General said they would file an appeal.

This past September, Florida Circuit Court Judge David J. Audlin Jr. also ruled Florida's infamous, anti-gay adoption ban "unconstitutional."

In his ruling, Judge Audlin said the ban violates the Constitution's separation of powers by preventing decisions from being made on a case-by-case basis, and for the betterment of each child. He added that the ban contradicts state law by singling out one group for punishment. Most importantly, Judge Audlin declared that this adoption was clearly in the child's best interest.

The adopted 13 year-old, who also has special needs and learning disabilities, has been raised in Key West by his openly gay foster parent since 2001 when the Department of Children and Families placed him there. Social work studies highly recommended the adoption, stating it was a "loving and nurturing home" with fair discipline and financial security. The boy has also testified at a recent hearing himself, saying that he wants the man to be his "forever father."

Equality Florida has been working with our legislative allies in Tallahassee for the past 3 year to undo the harm caused by Florida¢s anti-gay adoption ban. We are working toward the day when "best interest of the child" is the only criteria judges use to place children in loving, nurturing homes.

Today's ruling adds one more crack to the crumbling, bigoted foundation on which Florida's disgraceful, 30-year-old anti-gay adoption ban rests.