NCLR Applauds Florida Officials’ Decision Not to Appeal Adoption Ban Ruling

October 22, 2010

Today Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced that he would not appeal last month’s ruling by the Third District Court of Appeal striking down Florida’s anti-gay adoption ban as unconstitutional. Florida Governor Charlie Crist and the state’s Department of Children and Families had already announced that they would not appeal the ruling. The ruling will become final after today, and will be binding on courts across the state.

A statement from NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell:

“It is truly heartening that Florida’s elected leaders have stepped up to the plate and finally agreed to put this offensive law to rest once and for all. We are thrilled that the Florida Department of Children and Families will never again have to waste its time rooting out ‘homosexual’ and bisexual people who apply to become adoptive parents—instead, it can now focus on making sure that children who desperately need homes can find the very best loving, devoted parents to adopt them. This is a great day for the state of Florida and for LGBT families everywhere.”


NCLR Applauds Court Ruling Striking Down Adoption Ban

September 22, 2010

Court Rules Florida’s Anti-Gay Adoption Law Is Unconstitutional

Today the Third District Court of Appeal in Florida unanimously upheld a 2008 Miami-Dade Circuit Court decision striking down Florida’s anti-gay adoption ban and permitting Martin Gill, a gay man, to adopt two foster children he and his partner had parented for years. Gill is represented by the ACLU of Florida. The plaintiffs presented numerous experts who testified that decades of research has proved that lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people are just as capable of being good parents as heterosexuals. The Court of Appeal agreed with the trial court’s finding that the state of Florida had failed to present any credible evidence to support the ban. The Court of Appeal held that the statute, which was adopted in 1977, violated the constitutional requirement of equal protection by categorically excluding lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from adopting.

In August, NCLR filed an amicus brief describing the history of the ban in an appeal of another Circuit Court decision granting an adoption to a lesbian foster parent and holding that the ban is unconstitutional. That case is still pending before the Third District Court of Appeal, which held a hearing in that case earlier this month.

In a concurring opinion in today’s decision in the Gill case, Judge Vance E. Salter also noted a decision earlier this year by the Second District Court of Appeal in Embry v. Ryan. In that case, NCLR represented Lara Embry, a lesbian mother, who asked Florida to recognize a second-parent adoption granted in Washington. The Second District held that Florida must recognize the adoption, despite Florida’s anti-gay adoption ban.

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell:

“Today’s ruling, overturning the country’s only explicit ban on adoption by gay people, is long overdue. Thousands of children in the Florida foster care system need loving homes and families. This shameful law serves only to hurt children and discriminate against potential parents who can provide the love and care that all children deserve. We applaud the court’s ruling and congratulate the Gill family and our colleagues at the ACLU for this historic victory.”


Judge Strikes Down Adoption Ban

April 16, 2010

from Arkansas News

A circuit judge today stuck down Arkansas’ ban against unmarried couples adopting or foster-parenting children.

Act 1, passed by voters in 2008, unconstitutionally burdens non-marital relationships and acts of sexual intimacy between adults by forcing them to choose between becoming a parent and having any meaningful type of intimate relationship outside of marriage, Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled in a lawsuit challenging the law.

read more


West Palm Beach Votes in Support of Allowing Gay Adoption

March 23, 2010

by Andrew Abramson | The Palm Beach Post

The city commission took a stance against the state’s ban on gay adoption, voting unanimously today to support a repeal of the ban.

Florida is the only state in the country that doesn’t allow gay adoption and state representative Mary Brandenburg has already co-sponsored a bill in the Florida legislature that would repeal the ban.

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Every Child Deserves a Family Act

March 15, 2010

by Mike Neubecker, Vice-President, PFLAG National Board of Directors | Huffington Post

Growing up in a conservative, Catholic family in the Detroit area during the 60s, there were certain things that I assumed would happen in my life: I’d get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids, and, eventually, have grandkids. We’d all enjoy the family gatherings that my siblings and I experienced as we grew up, and life would be more or less what I planned. But for anyone who has gone through the “growing up” process, they know that life is often not what we plan.

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Get Trained and Help End Florida’s Ban on LGBT Adoption

March 9, 2010

Next week, March 20 and 21, our colleagues at the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation are hosting two free training events in Ft. Lauderdale and Naples to provide you with the basic skills and training to help end Florida’s ban on LGBT adoption by changing the hearts and minds of your friends, neighbors, and communities.

It will take all of us to bring an end to this ban and bring hope and forever families to children in Florida’s foster care system. Please register to help end Florida’s discriminatory adoption ban today.

Campaign Trainings

Overturn Florida’s Adoption Ban Training in Ft. Lauderdale

WHEN: Saturday, March 20, 2010
from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Hagen Park
2020 Wilton Drive
Wilton Manors, FL 33305

Register now. Space is limited. For more information, contact training@aclufl.org.

PARTNERS: NCLR, GLAAD, SAVE Dade, Equality Florida, Family Equality Council, and ACLU of Florida Broward Chapter.

Overturn Florida’s Adoption Ban Training in Naples

WHEN: Sunday, March 21, 2010
from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples
Thomas Hall
6340 Napa Woods Way
Naples, FL 34116

Register now. Space is limited. For more information, contact training@aclufl.org.

PARTNERS: NCLR, ACLU-Florida, GLAAD, SAVE Dade, Family Equality Council, Planned Parenthood of Collier County, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples, Florida Equality Council, and PFLAG Naples Chapter.


A Victory for Kids

September 11, 2009

by Howard Simon | Miami Herald

Last month, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal heard the state’s appeal of the victory the ACLU achieved last November when the Miami-Dade Circuit Court struck down Florida’s ban on adoptions by gay men and lesbians.

With approximately 3,500 children languishing in the state’s foster care system, the issue before the court was whether the law can deny a child a safe, secure and permanent home because of the sexual orientation of the adoptive parent.

But there was another issue facing the court: How bad does a law have to be and still survive a court challenge? We all know that the Legislature sometimes passes bad laws, but should policies that are based on prejudice and stereotypes that masquerade as science survive as law in Florida?

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