News (USA)

Appeals court upholds ruling: Florida’s ban on gay adoption ‘unconstitutional’

Appeals court upholds ruling: Florida’s ban on gay adoption ‘unconstitutional’

A court ruling declaring Florida’s ban against gay adoption unconstitutional was upheld Wednesday in a decision by the Third District Court of Appeals in Miami, affirming the controversial adoption of two foster children by a gay Miami couple.

Martin Gill and the two brothers he and his parter hoped to adopt.

The Miami Herald reports:

The unanimous 3-0 decision deals a critical blow to Florida’s 33-year-old law banning adoption by gay men and lesbians, and most likely sends the case to Florida’s highest court for resolution.

“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.”

The Court of Appeals upheld a 2008 ruling by a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge that found the state’s ban against gays adopting children to be unconstitutional.

The decision was followed by Gov. Charlie Crist announcing he would no longer enforce the ban and officials at the state agency that vets adoptions, the Department of Children and Families, ordering their staff to no longer ask about a prospective parent’s sexual orientation.

Martin Gill and his male partner, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, filed the lawsuit in their attempt to adopt two brothers, whom they have cared for as foster children since December 2004.

The case will ultimately go before the state Supreme Court.

The 42-page ruling is here (PDF).

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