Wait, So Registered Child Abusers Had More Adoption Rights Than Gays?

Riptide was going to write you up a nice "The Florida Supreme Court for Dummies" post, but in its research found itself caught up in tangents. Our interest was spurred in part by yesterday's overturning of the gay adoption ban by a Miami judge (as well as by future Crist appointments). The issue will likely find itself before the Florida Supreme Court. But the court has taken up the issue before in James W. Cox vs. Florida Department

of Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS) back in 1995. If I am reading my legalese correctly, the court upheld the ban, but decided its constitutionality could be challenged in the future.

The only Justice to full out disagree with the ruling was Harry Lee Anstead. In his descent he punched more holes in the ban than Swiss cheese.

Anstead was concerned that too much of HRS's case relied almost exclusively on the state's sodomy law, and that it, in theory at least, applied to homosexuals and heterosexuals. The good news is that the state basically built its entire case in 1995 against gay adoption around a law that no longer exists. The US Supreme Court struck down all sodomy laws in 2003. So, it will be interesting to see what kind of legal gymnastics lawyers put together this time.

Anstead's opinion then goes on to blast the sodomy law some more, before finding

it quite strange that in Florida ex-Felons and registered child

abusers can apply to adopt, but homosexuals can not.

"The differential treatment of felons and child abuser on one hand and

homosexuals on the other raises a serious substantive due process

question. It suggests that the state is completely denying gays acces

to any meaningul legal process, even the intensive scutiny reserved for

felons and child abuser. Before the State can deny due process in this

manner, it must at least advance a legitimate reason for doing so based

in fact and emprical study."

As we've pointed out, the mainstream facts and emprical studies show that homosexuals are just as qualified to raise children as heterosexuals.

Unfortunately, Anstead will be forced off the court in January when he

hits the mandatory retirement age of 70 (what happened to the idea that

old age brings wisdom?), and another  Justice will hit seven decades of

life in March. So by the time this issue hits the court again,

the ideology of the current bench may be shifted radically to the


The good news is that the legal arguments used to defend the ban in 1995 will no longer hold up.

--Kyle Munzenrieder

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