A Florida circuit judge declared unconstitutional Tuesday a 31-year-old state law that prevents gays and lesbians from adopting children, saying “the blanket exclusion” of gay applicants “defeated Florida’s goal of providing dependent children a permanent family.”
“The best interests of children are not preserved by prohibiting homosexual adoption,” Judge Cindy S. Lederman wrote in her 53-page ruling.
Florida is the only state that specifically bans all “homosexual” people from adopting children, although it does allow them to be foster parents.
This month, Arkansas voters approved a ballot measure to prohibit unmarried partners — same-sex or opposite-sex couples — from adopting children or from serving as foster parents.
Congratulations on judge Lederman for doing the right thing: protecting an unpopular minority from the tyranny of a religiously motivated majority. She joins Florida Circuit Court Judge David J. Audlin Jr., who made a similar ruling in a separate case last September. Still, this is merely a step forward and only cautious optimism is recommended. Having been burned numerous times watching good court decisions be overturned in the name of entrenched and institutionalized bigotry, I can warn you that the Religious Wrong, and entrenched part of the state government apparatus, won’t give up. Already an appeal is in the works, and if that fails, no doubt there will be referendum initiative or some other right-wing tactic. This is America, after all, where one day you have rights and the next day you don’t.