It seems that as one battle is lost in the fight for civil rights/the culture war/the "gay and secular fascist" takeover of America, another one is won. Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Cindy Lederman ruled earlier this morning there is "no rational basis" for banning homosexuals from adopting children, thus overturning the decades-old ban.
Now, of course, there will be a thousand appeals and whatnot before it's official, and every wacko across the nation will come here to protest. But it's a rare step toward progress on these issues, so cherish it while you can.
The law first came into effect in 1977, and for many years Florida was the only state to explicitly outlaw adoption by any parent who was open about his or her sexuality. Most mainstream studies on the subject find no measurable differences in mental or physical health of children raised by gay parents, but Florida's law stood for more than 30 years.
Homosexuals were allowed to serve as foster parents, though, and there
have been many cases where children were taken from foster care even
though the parents wished to give them a stable home, including a high-profile occurrence with Rosie O'Donnell, and a more recent case where a
gay man in Key West was allowed to adopt a special needs child he had
cared for for years.
This particular case involved a gay man and
his partner, who had raised two foster children for four
years. Judge Lederman said, "these children are thriving. These words
we don't often hear within
these walls. That's uncontroverted."
"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 only real permanancy is adoption in the home where they are
Today's ruling is the first to challenge the constitutionality of the law. The state had called two controversial and largely discredited scientists to the stand to defend the law, but apparently their testimony didn't dissuade the judge.
ruling is likely to go to appeal and might reach Florida's supreme
court, but Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of the Family Equality
Council, released a written statement hopeful that the court will
uphold Lederman's decision.
child welfare organizations attest to the need to support LGBT parents
and their families. The best interests of children should be decided by
parents, families, professionals, and judges, not opportunistic
politicians and interest groups who have long run campaigns demonizing
our families. We at the Family Equality Council fully trust that the
Florida State Supreme Court, should it hear this case on appeal, will
see that the state has no compelling reason to overturn today's ruling,
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which evaluated the relationship between Frank Martin Gill and his two
sons and, correctly, said, 'Yes, this is a family.'"