A Miami-Dade circuit judge today ruled Florida’s 30-year ban on “gay” adoption unconstitutional, allowing a homosexual man to adopt two foster children who have been in his care since 2004.
Judge Cindy Lederman issued a 53-page order allowing Frank Gill, 47, and his “gay” partner to legally adopt the 4- and 8-year-old boys they’ve been raising, the Miami Herald reported.
”This is the forum where we try to heal children, find permanent families for them so they can get another chance at what every child should know and feel from birth, and go on to lead productive lives,” Judge Lederman told the court. “We pray for them to thrive, but that is a word we rarely hear in dependency court.”
She continued, ”These children are thriving; it is uncontroverted.”
Attorneys for Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum immediately announced they would appeal Lederman’s ruling.
”We respect the court’s decision,” attorney Valerie Martin told the Herald. But, she said, “Based upon the wishes of our client, the Department of Children & Families, we have filed a notice of appeal this morning.”
According to the report, McCollum’s office argued that homosexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to experience substance abuse problems and mental illness. Foster children are already experiencing a great deal of stress, and, according to the argument, they should not be forced to live under such circumstances.
Gill told reporters he is “elated” with Lederman’s ruling.
”I cried tears of joy for the first time in my life,” he said.
Gill said the state’s “gay” adoption ban does not help children by placing them only in homes with heterosexual families.
“It results in more children being left without any parents at all,” he said. “They don’t have a mom or a dad.”
Lederman’s ruling is not the first to declare the ban unconstitutional. In August, Monroe Circuit Judge David John Audlin Jr. wrote that the restriction was a product of “unveiled expressions of bigotry” after “gays” called for civil rights protections in 1977.
”Disqualifying every gay Floridian from raising a family, enjoying grandchildren or carrying on the family name, based on nothing more than lawful sexual conduct, while assuring child abusers, terrorists, drug dealers, rapists and murderers at least individualized consideration, ” Audlin wrote, is “disproportionately severe” and violates the Florida and U.S. Constitutions.
According to the Herald, Lederman said children have “fundamental” rights to have permanent adoptive parents if birth parents are no longer in the picture.
”The challenged statute, in precluding otherwise qualified homosexuals from adopting available children, does not promote the interests of children and, in effect, causes harm to the children it is meant to protect,” she wrote. “There is no question the blanket exclusion of gay applicants defeats Florida’s goal of providing [foster] children a permanent family through adoption.”
Lederman said sexual orientation is no indicator of a person’s ability to parent.
“Sexual orientation no more leads to psychiatric disorders, alcohol and substance abuse, relationship instability, a lower life expectancy or sexual disorders than race, gender, socioeconomic class or any other demographic characteristic,” she wrote. ”The most important factor in ensuring a well-adjusted child is the quality of parenting.”