Thursday, September 23, 2010

Florida's Gay Adoption Ban Overturned, Crist Puts Law On Hold Pending Appeal Decision

A Miami appeals court ruled 3-0 Wednesday that a 33-year-old ban on adoption by gays and lesbians is unconstitutional, allowing the 2009 adoption by a gay couple of the children they have been fostering for several years to stand.

The St. Augustine Record reports:
"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," the opinion states. "No one in this case has made, or even hinted at, any such argument.
 "To the contrary, the parties agree 'that gay people and heterosexuals make equally good parents.' "
The decision, by the Third District Court of Appeal in Miami, means Frank Martin Gill will be allowed to remain the parent of his two sons -- identified only as X.X.G. and N.R.G. -- whom Gill and his longtime partner adopted from the state's foster care system in 2009. Gill had been foster-parenting the boys for several years.
The opinion was agreed upon by the three judges who reviewed the case -- Gerald B. Cope Jr., Frank A. Shepherd and Vance E. Salter -- who wrote a concurring opinion. The 35-page ruling was written by Cope, who also reviewed a similar case this summer involving a lesbian couple in Broward County, Fla.
Florida Governor Charlie Crist has said he will not enforce the ban, pending the decision on whether to appeal the case to the Florida Supreme Court.
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