Another court victory: Florida gay adoption ban ruled unconstitutional

September 22, 2010 at 12:45 pm 96 comments

By Eden James

As our friends at the ACLU and Equality Florida (as well as Alan E. in the comments) alerted us this morning, we have some more excellent news coming out of the courts on LGBT rights — this time from a state court in Florida:

MIAMI — Florida’s strict ban on adoption by gay people is unconstitutional because no other group, even people with criminal backgrounds, are singled out for a flat prohibition by state law, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The ruling by the 3rd District Court of Appeal upholds a 2008 decision by a Miami-Dade County judge who found “no rational basis” for the ban when she approved the adoption of two young brothers by Martin Gill and his male partner. The prohibition was first enacted in 1977 and is the only law of its kind in the nation, according to court records.

In a 28-page opinion, a three-judge panel of the court noted that gay people are permitted to become foster parents or legal guardians in Florida, yet are the only group not allowed to adopt.

“It is difficult to see any rational basis in utilizing homosexual persons as foster parents or guardians on a temporary or permanent basis, while imposing a blanket prohibition on those same persons,” wrote Judge Gerald Cope for the panel. “All other persons are eligible to be considered case-by-case to be adoptive parents.”

The decision is likely to be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, which could then determine the ultimate fate of the law. “We note that our ruling is unlikely to be the last word,” the appeals panel said.

Here is the full ruling Scribd (h/t to Towleroad and Alan E.):

View this document on Scribd

There are several juicy morsels, including the last note, which refers to the Prop 8 case:

In the recently-decided federal case in California, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, 2010 WL 3025614 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 4, 2010), many of the same equal protection arguments, and two of the expert witnesses who testified in the adoption case here, were cited in the court’s order.

Enjoy your court document reading for the day.

If you’ve got other links to add to this story, share them in the comments.

Entry filed under: Trial analysis.

Anecdotal stubbornness vs. documented evidence: Do you care yet, John McCain? Food for thought: A P8TT community project

96 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ronnie  |  September 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Don’t remember if this was posted but we also had this win yesterday…..



  • 2. Alan E.  |  September 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I’ll say it again, my favorite quote is:

    The steps taken by the existing three-person household to address the medical, emotional, and educational needs of the two adoptive children are nothing short of heroic.

    (page 37)

    • 3. bJason  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:07 pm

      I held up through the reading until I got to the concurring judgment – then – Niagara Falls, all the way to the end!

      • 4. Alan E.  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:10 pm

        I loved his section. It was great to see “I agree, but you should also know this…”

      • 5. bJason  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:26 pm

        I must admit, when I first saw the heading – my knee-jerk reaction was “oh, here we go. He agrees, BUT…” I could not have been MORE wrong. It was “I agree AND…” Made my day – thanks again for linking us to it, earlier!

  • 6. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  September 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I know how bad everything must look like after DADT repeal defeat, but it’s nothing compared to other things that are going on in countries like Russia where I (a young gay man) live.

    Yesterday Russian LGBT activists were apprehended by the police when they were peacefully protesting against homophobic Yuri Luzhkov, mayor of Moscow (Russian capital); September 21st happened to be mayor’s birthday.  On many occasions Luzhkov called gays satanic creatures with immoral behaviors, and every year he bans Gay Pride parades in Moscow.  As you can see in the video below, people are being taken away and detained, what happens to them afterwards we know only from their own words: police officers bash detainees threatening them to quit fighting for gay rights. 

    Towleroad also mentions Nikolai Alekseev’s horrifying abduction by the authorities last weekend when he was tortured and let go in a distant city away from Moscow without documents (in Russia you can’t travel by train without a passport, so he had to get on a bus to go back to Moscow).

    — ♂KF

    • 7. Ann S.  |  September 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm

      ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ, that’s horrible. Stay safe!

      • 8. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

        Forgot to comment on the video about what the people and the signs say.
        Alekseev cries out, “Shame on Moscow authorities!”  The sign says, “While some of police officers were fighting with protesters, other officers were trying to get rid of the media.”  Various outcries: “Impeach the homophobic mayor!  Luzhkov is a fag!  Outrageous Corruption!  People detained for no reason!  Luzhkov is of Satan!”  For that speech Alekseev is being removed from the scene by the police, as well as other protesters.  Then police officers use force and hurt the female protester, she yells to the police, “You’re hurting me!”  Every protester is takes away into the subway (why subway? hell if I know!).  Some media representatives attempt to follow them.  Then you can see one of the reporters with a camera being taken away as well!  Another sign: “Because of arrests of all peaceful protesters police pushes reporters aside” — they don’t want people to know about gays fighting for their rights… who does that?  Freedom of speech my ass!  Reporter was afterwards released right away.  All the protesters were released within 3 hours (according to Russian law, police can detain anyone for no longer than 3 hours without charging or arresting).  No one was officially arrested — because there is no legal reason to arrest people!  All they want is to stop our efforts to become public knowledge.

        I forgot to mention that when Alekseev was detained and tortured this weekend, police tried to make him drop charges against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights where he fights for gay rights and protections.

        — ♂KF

      • 9. Kathleen  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:57 pm

        Dearest Kirille, thank you for the translations. Ditto what Ann said. STAY SAFE!!!! I love you. xoxoxo

    • 10. Kate  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm

      What brave, brave people.

    • 11. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm

      I read about that. Very sad.

    • 12. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:14 pm

      Oh Kirilli that is just horrible! Please be safe!
      You are so dearly loved….don’t want anything bad to happen to you :-)

      Big Hugs
      Mark and Robert

    • 13. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:31 pm

      Thank you, guys and gals, for your support, but I’m not participating in those protests as of yet (even though I’m already in contact with Alekseev).  Haven’t been in Moscow in 17 years, no regrets…

      — ♂KF

      • 14. bJason  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:27 pm

        PLEASE, stay safe.

    • 15. elliom  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:07 pm


      I’ve been following this story. I wish you, Alekseev, and everyone involved the best of luck. I understand life in former USSR states is still difficult (though, I’m sure I have no idea HOW diffiuclt *sigh* ). Our own history has shown human rights strugles are never easy, but persiverence wins in the end.


      In reading this story over the last week or so, I’ve been reflecting on how lucky those of us are who CAN be effected by the P8, DOMA, and DADT decisions. I think we often take for granted the rights we have here in the USA, and the dose of reality Alekseev’s strugles bring….well….they just highlight how different things COULD be. (Think Uganda.)

      The very fact that I can write this comment is, in itself, a prime example. I can post my opinion. You can agree/disagree. I may not like it, but you can do it. Nobody will arrest either one of us. No secret abductions. We enjoy protections emulated in many parts of the world, but scorned in others.

      We can hold rallies. We can contact our representatives. We can even CHOSE our leaders. And when we don’t like them, we can REPLACE them.

      We fight for our rights, and it is a fight. I don’t wish to demean that. But our fight will have little or no bloodshed. Our fight will not involve secret government action. Our fight will be with words, in courtrooms and legislative chambers, behind podiums at rallies, and in homes with friends and neighbors.

      I know at times our battle here seems harsh, and the setbacks intolerable. But compared to other places, we have it pretty easy.

      • 16. Bob  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:29 pm

        In watching that video I realized what it meant to fight, to stand up when you know you’re going to be taken down, and probably tortured.
        And you do it anyway, cause it’s the only thing you can do to change your circumstance.
        Those brave people would rather be tortured for real, by the haters, than keep themselves in bondage and inflict their own suffering.
        Those brave people call out the enemy to fight a real battle, and one day they’ll get to the place where they have some protection and an ability to debate.
        Maybe we’re hiding behind a fascade of (having it pretty good in comparison)

        Free speach, rallies etc. aren’t quite getting us there, and I wouldn’t say this fight does not involve secret government action.
        Really do we think we’re better because we are fighting with words, how sophisticated, and waiting for courts to rule on our rights.

        If only more of us had the guts to take it to the next level, and let it be the fight it is ,

        I have so much respect and honor for those Russian fighters. They make all this political, legal, retorhic pale in comparison.

      • 17. bJason  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:58 pm

        Well said, Elliom. A dose of perspective can be both sobering and energizing. There is much work to be done.

  • 18. Rhie  |  September 22, 2010 at 12:59 pm


  • 19. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    ooh ooh, I think I need these emails too!

  • 20. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Some days things just start looking up!

    Mormon Feminism is Back

    Our issues as Mormon feminists are expansive. Mormon feminists led the faithful opposition to Proposition 8. We believe in dignity and equality for LGBT people, including our parents, brothers and sisters, and children who are LGBT Mormons.

    Full Article:

  • 21. fiona64  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Apropos of nothing:

    My novel has been nominated for the New Covey Cover Awards, for the beautiful jacket design by pin-up artist James Courtney. If my friends here wouldn’t mind taking a minute to visit and vote for Entry #21 in the poll, I would be very much appreciative. I would love to have this honor for James.


    • 22. fiona64  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:22 pm

      PS — The title of the book is “In The Eye of The Beholder.”


      • 23. Gregory in SLC  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:58 pm

        voted :)

      • 24. Kate  |  September 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm


      • 25. StraightForEquality  |  September 22, 2010 at 8:38 pm


    • 26. nightshayde  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:25 pm

      Done! =)

    • 27. Ronnie  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:37 pm


    • 28. Ann S.  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:51 pm

      Done! Nice cover.

      • 29. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm

        Voted for #21! Great Job! Congrats

      • 30. fiona64  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm

        Thanks, everyone! I do appreciate it.


      • 31. fiona64  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm

        PS — the model for that fella in the mask is Captain America/Mr. Fiona64.


    • 32. Straight Ally #3008  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:06 pm

      Done! Good luck!

    • 33. bJason  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm

      Done. Though I did get stuck at #9. :)

    • 34. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm


    • 35. Santa Barbara Mom  |  September 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm

      Just voted :)

  • 36. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Finally! And with this ruling, I think we need a song. Anyone for some Freddy Mercury?

    • 37. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:41 pm

      I logged into our ‘secret’ gay agenda website and checked this item off the list!

      • 38. Anonygrl  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm

        Good job!

      • 39. Carpool Cookie  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm

        LLB: Remember to check the boxes for the frequent flier miles and amazon discount at the agenda website. A lot of people have been forgetting to do that.

        (Does anyone know if the Target Points are going to be added back in? What if you have leftover ones, from before the boycott?)

      • 40. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm

        I think there was a vote to relinquish all Target points at last weeks board meeting…but I haven’t seen the minutes yet.

        I did get the others, including the Home Depot points.

  • 41. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    NOM’s new email… Asking for money to ban marriage equality…
    Underneath is their new ad for Minnesota.

    We’ve just released what may very well be our most powerful ad yet… focusing on the right of Minnesotans to vote for marriage, with footage from Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous speech and the civil rights movement.

    In the Minnesota governor’s race, two of the three candidates want to let unelected judges force same-sex marriage on Minnesotans, with only Republican Tom Emmer standing up for the rights of Minnesota voters. Partnering with the Minnesota Family Council, this new ad campaign holds these politicians accountable, making sure that voters know where their candidates stand on marriage.

    Unfortunately the problem isn’t limited to Minnesota. We’re launching ads all across the country, sending a message to out-of-touch politicians that marriage is important to their constituents and people are especially outraged when they are denied the right to vote while unelected judges force same-sex marriage on a state.

    And now you have the opportunity to double our ability to fight for you! A generous group of NOM donors have banded together to offer a $1 Million Challenge Grant, matching every dollar donated to NOM through the end of 2010, up to $1 million.

    Please use this link to make a generous gift of $35, $50, $100, or even $500 or more today.

    — ♂KF

    • 42. Ronnie  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm

      MLK didn’t fight for the right to control other people’s personal lives & force your religious beliefs & definitions on other people…his family needs to sue for misrepresentation , defamation of character & slandering the King name….NOM you are Nazi’s stealing our rights to live our lives openly & freely as we wish…you are destroying America…you make me sick…you are pure evil….Hi Louis…. >( …Ronnie

    • 43. AndrewPDX  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:10 pm

      I can’t wait for Brian Brown to meet his maker, as I’m positive the great Dr. King will be there, blocking Brian’s way through the Pearly Gates while St. Peter pulls the lever on the trap door to send Brian to his just desserts… Hope he likes Baked Alaska, as it’s gonna be a bit too warm for an ice cream social where he’s going.

      Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

      • 44. BK  |  September 23, 2010 at 9:53 am



  • 45. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Note to self: Click subscribe button BEFORE you click the submit button! DOH!

  • 46. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    For all you Star Trek Fans

    George Takei takes Star Trek fan questions

    Questioner Asks him about Prop 8.

    GT: We were devastated when that passed. It passed with the most duplicitous kind of TV campaign. They used two things, the Bible and “tradition.” I respect everyone’s right to their religion, but what we’re talking about is civil law, not religious law. In our democracy, no religion has the right to impose their religious beliefs into civil law. I’m a Buddhist, and I know I can’t write my Buddhist faith into civil law and demand that everyone follow… it’s very disrespectful…

    …I’m sure that the appellate court will also overrule Prop 8 and will appeal it to the Supreme Court. I think [Justice] Kennedy will be the swing vote there. The people that are representing the challenge are amazing lawyers… I know they’re going to be successful in the appellate court, and when it’s taken to the Supreme Court, they have experience arguing in front of it. I know that ultimately, it will be overruled, and it will be the rule of the land.

    All Takei Questions:

    • 47. Gregory in SLC  |  September 22, 2010 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you LLB. I have apprec George Takei’s openness about his marriage and life through this whole ordeal.

    • 48. Sheryl Carver  |  September 23, 2010 at 8:55 am

      Thanks for the link, LLB!

      I’ve been a Star Trek fan since it’s been on TV. Old enough that I watched the (William Shatner) pilot when it was first broadcast.

      When I was an engineer in Colorado Springs, a few of us would go up to Denver twice a year for the conventions. I called those trips “our semi-annual escapes from reality.” Haven’t done that since I’ve been in CA, but we sure had some good times!

      Here’s to all Trackies, & to the sub-group Trekkie-Trackies!

  • 49. Skemono  |  September 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    This is pleasant news–though hardly surprising, given the fiasco that was the original 2008 court case. I have some old blog posts about that here, here, and here, if y’all wanna read.

  • 50. Straight Ally #3008  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    *shakes his head* The GOP is really living up to President Obama’s quip that to go forward, you put the car in “D,” and you put it in “R” for reverse.

    GOP agenda to include social issues

    Complete with pic of creationist homophobe Rep. Mike Pence, winner of the “Values Voters” presidential straw poll. So there you: assuming the provision isn’t taken out, the GOP platform is officially anti-equality.

    • 51. bJason  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm

      “to go forward, you put the car in “D,” and you put it in “R” for reverse”

      I really am not an idiot but I just got that!

      • 52. BK  |  September 23, 2010 at 10:09 am

        I still don’t get it…

        Anyways, I love this guy’s comment in response to that article! It’s by “Icon,” an independent:

        “If the GOP still wants the social conservatives’ vote, this is a wise move.

        If the GOP still wants the fiscal conservative / libertarian vote, this is an unwise move.

        If the GOP still wants any votes from anyone under the age of 30, this is a really freaking bad move.”


    • 53. fiona64  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      Gotta love the GOP platform, which seems to consist of “Government, stay out of everyone’s lives — except women and gay people. Them, you can harass to the point of peeping in windows and checking out their medical records.”



      • 54. fiona64  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:28 pm

        PS: Over on Louis’ blog (Hi, Louis!), he’s talking about how civil unions need to be done away with.

        I guess the true colors are coming out from the NOMbies at last.


      • 55. nightshayde  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm

        They want to shrink government down until it’s teeny-tiny enough to fit into your bedroom (or, as you pointed out, your doctor’s examining/procedure room).

        I second the “asshat” thing.

      • 56. Straight Ally #3008  |  September 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm

        Civil unions need to be done away with? Come on, Louis, you can do better than that. STONING!!!! Good ol’ Biblical death sentences!!! I’m sure the NOMNOMs would get off on the bloodshed.

    • 57. Cat  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:58 pm

      I must confess that I thought Obama’s “D”/”R” joke was pretty lame, and well beneath his capabilities. It seemed like he dreaded delivering that joke, and suspect somebody from the ‘communications team’ must have thought it will help his popularity… Not so sure that he wins any points by doing this stuff.

      • 58. nightshayde  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm

        I actually thought it was quite clever. =)

      • 59. BK  |  September 23, 2010 at 10:22 am

        Ohhhhhhhh. Now I get it! :)

  • 60. Ann S.  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    There have been a few more minor filings coming through for those of you getting the court email notices.

    One was the City and Counsel of San Francisco consenting to amicus briefs, and one was noticing an additional lawyer from David Boies’s law firm who may be helping out.

  • 61. Alan E.  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    You can send a message to the Gill family through Equality Florida. Please take a minute to send a congratulations on their site:

    • 62. bJason  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:39 pm

      Done! I really didn’t think anything would lift my spirits today. This is fantastic.

      • 63. MJFargo  |  September 22, 2010 at 5:19 pm

        And a great big “Second!” from me.

  • 64. Sagesse  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Subscribing. Went into a meeting 2 hours ago, now have 188 new messages.

  • 65. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    • 66. Carpool Cookie  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm

      Wasn’t Crist one of the closeted gays behind creating the legislature banning other gays from adopting? I think it was discussed in the documentary Outrage.

    • 67. Carpool Cookie  |  September 22, 2010 at 2:54 pm

      A (serious) quote of Crist’s from the movie…

      “”Marriage is a sacred relationship between a man and a woman…Marriage is a relationship like my mother and father had; like I had before I got divorced.”

      ? ! ? ! ? ! ?

      • 68. fiona64  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm

        “Do as I say, not as I do” shall be the whole of the law …


      • 69. Chris in Lathrop  |  September 22, 2010 at 4:50 pm

        @Fiona64 “Do as I say, not as I do” shall be the whole of the law …

        I would so love to hear H8eros quoting Crowley! ‘Twould be so ironic! >:)

      • 70. Straight Ally #3008  |  September 22, 2010 at 5:59 pm

        And another irony meter bites the dust.

  • 71. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    • 72. BK  |  September 23, 2010 at 10:34 am

      Grrrr. I’m angry enough to start barking at them, but they’re dumb enough to take my woof as a compliment. :P

  • 73. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    BREAKING: GOP’s New “Pledge to America” Attacks Gay Marriage

    The House Republicans have just released the full text of their “Pledge to America,” (below) which they will announce tomorrow morning — at a Virginia hardware store. Theatrics, anyone?

    BIG surprise – it attacks same-sex marriage.

    How’s this:

    “We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values.”


    • 74. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:15 pm

      • 75. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:24 pm

        It kind of reads like they are planning on taking over the government? Anyone else read the document see that too…or is it just me.

      • 76. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm

        They are blaming the Democrats for they Nay votes yesterday…

        Democratic Leaders continue moving in the wrong direction by limiting openness and debate, and using various backhanded tactics to ignore the will of the people:
        • Despite having the largest Democratic majority since 1993, the current Congress marked the first time in the history that not a single spending bill was considered under an “open” amendment process.
        • During final consideration of President Obama’s government takeover of health care, Speaker Pelosi and Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter publicly discussed a plan to allow the House to pass the bill without a vote by the House. Referred to as the “Slaughter Solution,” House Democrats eventually abandoned the scheme under the weight of a sustained public outcry.
        • When the House was poised to consider legislation to impose a “cap-and-trade” national energy tax, a 300-page “manager’s amendment” rewriting key provisions of the bill without a separate vote was dropped in the laps of lawmakers at 3:00 am. The House began debate on the bill just a few hours later.
        • For the first time in modern history, the House failed to pass or even debate a budget, allowing spending to continue to grow at a breathtaking rate without any blueprint for making fiscal decisions.

      • 77. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  September 22, 2010 at 5:22 pm

        If you call something a “Slaughter Solution,” it is only fair to expect public outcry! :D
        Good God, man! :)

        — ♂KF

    • 78. Ann S.  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm

      Translation: “We pledge to attack and, if possible, break up families not consisting of mom, dad and 2.4 children, stifle or completely prevent women’s access to reproductive health care services, and make everyone worship in Christian churches.”

      • 79. Gregory in SLC  |  September 22, 2010 at 4:12 pm

        very accurate summary!

  • 80. Alan E.  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    BREAKING: Crist: Fla. will stop enforcing gay adoption ban

    This is good and bad. Good because he recognizes the ruling, but bad because another governor could come in and enforce the law outside of the 3rd District again. It would require a State Supreme Court decision to make it unconstitutional in the entire state.

    • 81. elliom  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:36 pm

      I have a bad feeling that this is going to be their new tactic…district by district, circuit by circuit.

      • 82. Rhie  |  September 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm

        It worked with restricting abortion. Despite Roe, it is impossible for women in 98% of counties in the US to get an abortion. The Right has worked on the local level to restrict everything from zoning for a Planned Parenthood to restrict abortion to the point where it is impossible to get one.

        Roe needs to be revisited, and made stronger. No laws that restrict abortion at ALL, for ANY reason. No zoning, no hoops, no nothing. Any doctor who doesn’t want to at least refer an abortion provider in the woman’s provider network is fired. Any pharmacist who doesn’t at least want to call another pharmacist over at the moment the customer asks for a pill is fired.

        Sigh…but that basic human right is a fantasy I suppose.

  • 83. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Gay Reps Urge Obama to Halt DADT

    Congress’s three openly gay members, Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, and Jared Polis, have written a letter to President Barack Obama, urging him not to appeal the federal court decision that recently found “don’t ask, don’t tell” unconstitutional.

    The plaintiffs in the case, the Log Cabin Republicans, filed for an injunction on enforcement of the policy after U.S. district court judge Virginia Phillips ruled the 17-year-old law unconstitutional September 9. The Department of Justice is scheduled to file a response to the injunction request Thursday.

    Read More:

    • 84. bJason  |  September 22, 2010 at 4:07 pm

      THAT is what is supposed to happen Thursday, JonT. :) I knew there was something looming to promise me the fix I need. Didn’t expect the Adoption ruling, today.

      My crack pipe runneth over.

      <3 Jason

      • 85. JonT  |  September 24, 2010 at 2:42 pm

        LOL :)

        I have some catching up to do, I see.

  • 86. Petr Tomeš  |  September 22, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    LGBT parenting – Children’s outcomes

  • 87. Shirley Clukey  |  September 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I’m pretty sure there are a couple of other states with interesting bans on adoption. Utah managed to enact a law that avoids express naming of gays as the target of discrimination by banning the adoption of children by single adults, or adults who co-habitate, that is, are not married. Since it’s not legal for gays to marry, it’s tough beans for them. The unintended consequence that followed the enactment is a reduction in the available pool of adoptive parents, even those who are straight, but single. It’s the children who suffer most.

    Links (these do not express my views):

    • 88. Melissa  |  September 22, 2010 at 11:48 pm

      This is off-topic some, but Utah has some interesting adoption laws. And I don’t say that to attack Utah, but actually because I read about another interesting case a few months back.

      The link is here:

      But the gist is this: there was a young, unmarried couple who were pregnant. Right around the due date, the woman stopped answering her phone and he was unable to find her. When the boyfriend finally caught up with her, she had given birth, and then given the baby up for adoption – in Utah.

      It’s been in the court system ever since. The father claims the baby was kidnapped (the state of Virginia has agreed with him), but the state of Utah has said he didn’t assert his rights soon enough. Apparently, this case has brought to light how tough Utah laws are on unwed fathers, with some examples of some other cases that would make your eyes bulge.

      Again, sorry, totally off-topic, but it’s sort of interesting how all these laws fit together.

  • 89. Joel  |  September 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I found the appellate court’s ruling to be very readable. A couple of things really caught my eye –
    The Department contends that the trial court erred by finding subsection 63.042(3) unconstitutional. The Department argues that there is a rational basis for the statute and that the trial court misinterpreted the law.
    Is this some stock phrase that appellates use for every appeal? It seemed to me there was similar phrasing in the Perry appeal.

    The Department offered Dr. George A. Rekers, Distinguished Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science Emeritus, University of South Carolina School of Medicine
    They didn’t mention his qualification as luggage handler employer…

    In addition to the volume, the body of research is broad; comparing children raised by lesbian couples to children raised by married heterosexual couples; children raised by lesbian parents from birth to children raised by heterosexual married couples from birth; children raised by single homosexuals to children raised by single heterosexuals; and children adopted by homosexual parents to those raised by homosexual biological parents, to name a few.These reports and studies find that
    there are no differences in the parenting of
    homosexuals or the adjustment of their children.

    These conclusions have been accepted, adopted and ratified by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatry Association, the American Pediatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Child Welfare League of America and the National Association of Social Workers. As a result, based on the robust nature of the evidence available in the field,this
    Court is satisfied that the issue is so far beyond
    dispute that it would be irrational to hold otherwise;
    the best interests of children are not preserved by
    prohibiting homosexual adoption
    Hopefully, this will finally shut all those people up who insist against all reason that gay and lesbian parents are somehow inferior. I get so tired of the “but what about the children?” argument. So damned tired!

    Poignantly, Dr. Cochran pointed out that if every demographic group with elevated rates of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse and smoking were excluded from adopting, the only group eligible to adopt under this rationale would be Asian American men.
    This is just funny!

  • 90. Melissa  |  September 22, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Hi all-

    First, let me introduce myself. My name is Melissa, and I’ve been following for a while now, but just lurking.

    I wonder if anyone can assess a somewhat different, but related matter for me. In addition to strict prohibitions like this one, I have also read that many states make it very difficult for the non-biologic parent of a child to adopt that child. That is, if a lesbian couple has a baby, the partner who gives birth has rights as the birth mother, but the courts might prohibit her partner from adopting the child. Is a ruling such as this one broad enough that it will translate to that situation? Again, I know this is a Florida state decision, but every positive decision has the potential to help eventually.

    • 91. BK  |  September 23, 2010 at 10:59 am

      Hi, Melissa!

    • 92. Alan E.  |  September 23, 2010 at 11:34 am

      Welcome Melissa! Continue to lurk, but pop in every now and then.

  • 93. Kathleen  |  September 22, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Hi Melissa,

    Nice to “meet” you and glad you’ve decided to join in! Lambda Legal has some information on court cases that have challenged restrictions on second parent adoption.

  • 94. Sean  |  September 23, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I always found this to be one of the more bizarre of the gay adoption bans. In practice it discriminates based on self-identification rather than any particular actual behavior. Which makes it really unclear (to me) whether it would even cover bisexuals. Would a bisexual person in a same-sex relationship be barred from adopting? If so, doesn’t that imply that a married opposite-sex couple, in which at least one person identifies as bisexual, would also be barred from adopting?

    And like most such laws, there’s no provision at all for people with an unclear or changing sex (intersex or transsexuals).

    I think that’s one thing that makes it blatantly clear that there’s no rational reason for these laws. If they had a clear motivation, such laws would provide a jumping-off point for answering such questions. But as it is, the justification for the law is “we’re vaguely worried that gays are worse parents or mentally unstable”, without the empirical evidence to back up why that concern, out of all possible concerns, is particularly convincing.

  • 95. Skemono  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Since it doesn’t look like my previous comment will ever escape moderation, I’ll try giving one with fewer links. This ruling is pleasant, but not a big surprise. I wrote some blog posts about the original court case back in 2008, and it was a fiasco on par with Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Y’all may want to read them, here and here.

    • 96. Alan E.  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      The staff is in an all-day meeting, so they can’t manually approve your first post.


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