Bringing an end to Florida’s 33-year-old ban on gay adoptions, state attorney general Bill McCollum announced Friday that he will not appeal to the state supreme court a lower court ruling that the ban was unconstitutional.
Florida was the only state in the U.S. that legally disallowed any and all LGBT parents from adopting, although they could be foster parents.
“The constitutionality of the Florida law banning adoption by homosexuals is a divisive matter of great public interest,” McCollum said in a statement. “As such, the final determination should rest with the Florida Supreme Court, not a lower appellate court.
“But after reviewing the merits of independently seeking Supreme Court review, following the decision of our client the Department of Children and Families not to appeal the decision of the Third District Court of Appeal, it is clear that this is not the right case to take to the Supreme Court for its determination.”
The September 22 ruling by the Third District 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, affirming the controversial adoption of two foster children that Martin Gill and his partner have been raising for almost six years.
Earlier this month, the Florida Department of Children and Families also declined to appeal the ruling and said they were removing the question about of sexual orientation from its adoption applications.
“We are relieved that this process has finally come to an end, and that we can focus on being a family,” said Gill. “Our boys have overcome difficult beginnings to become happy, healthy kids. All children deserve a chance at finding a stable, loving and permanent home. Over the 33 years of the ban, this archaic law has harmed countless foster children by denying them a forever family.” [via ACLU]