Florida Gay Couple Adoption Ban Challenged

Florida has a ban on adoption by gay couples going back to 1977 when former Miss America contestant Anita Bryant was actively campaigning against gay rights in America. Those of you who have been around for a little while might remember when this was going on. Well, now there is a case progressing through the courts to contest this ban on gay adoption.

North Miami resident Frank Martin Gill took in two foster children 5 years ago. He says he would be devastated should the state took away his children. Mr. Gill is an openly gay man. He recently attended the appellate argument in court over the future of his adoptive sons. Last November Judge Cindy Lederman ruled in favor of Mr. Gill calling the ban “irrational”. This is the ruling that the state is appealing.

As reported in an article entitled In Fla. Adoption Case, State Argues Gays Prone to Mental Illness, Breakups on the Law.com website:

Deputy Solicitor General Timothy Osterhaus, who argued for DCF, said, “We do not.” [think the children would be better off without Mr. Gill.]

But Osterhaus maintains gays as a group can be excluded based on higher rates of domestic violence, psychiatric disorders and breakups.

He argued the law is valid under a rational basis legal test, which Lederman rejected.

All of the conditions it has been claimed gays are more prone to the DCF screens prospective adoptive parents for anyway.

Apparently Frank Martin Gills parenting skills aren’t being questioned. He may indeed be an excellent parent. The state is arguing that this kind of state sanctioned bias has a rational basis.

The state has the nation’s most restrictive ban on gay adoption. The Florida law has withstood several constitutional attacks at both the state and federal level. A number of other states allow single gay people to adopt children but not partners in a same-sex relationship.

The time for a change in law is long overdue. The constitutional rights of gays and lesbians need to be restored and respected in the state of Florida. Prejudice is prejudice, and gay people can make as good, if not better, parents than anybody else. Self fulfilling negative prophesies regarding social groups vanish in the real world when individual members of those groups are given the chances for success such individuals deserve.

Are gays and lesbians more prone to mental illness than other groups of people? Does this kind of propensity indicate a genetic link between sexual orientation and mental illness? As you can see, questions remain to which I have an easy answer. Namely, no. Get rid of discrimination and the other matters, being an offshoot of that phenomenon, will take care of themselves.