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September 11, 2008


Monroe Judge David J. Audlin Jr. has ruled that Florida's 31 year old ban on gay adoption is unconstitutional.

The case evolved around a 13-year-old boy with learning disabilities and special needs. Neither the boy nor the foster father were identified by name.

The boy has lived with his foster father since being placed there by the Department of Children & Families in 2001. In 2006, Judge Audin appointed the foster father as the boy's legal guardian.

According to an article in the Miami Herald,

At a recent hearing, the boy testified he wanted the man to be his ''forever father'' -- like all the other kids had -- ''because I love him.''

Judge Audin noted that the statute was passed by lawmakers in 1977 amid a politically charged campaign to, as one lawmaker at the time put it, send gay people ''back into the closet.'' Audin said the law violates the Constitution's separation of powers by preventing family court and child welfare judges from deciding case-by-case what is best for a child.

A home study by a social worker ''highly'' recommended the guardian and his partner be allowed to adopt the boy, saying the two men provided a ''loving and nurturing home,'' provided ''fair and consistent'' discipline and are financially secure, the order says.

The case can still be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court but more and more attention is being focused on Florida and Mississippi as the only two states left that have outright bans on gay adoption. This attention is beginning to cast them as being against the best interest of adoptive children. Virtually every study and almost all directly involved agencies and institutions have expressed strong support for gay adoptions.

Unfortunately, John McCain and most republicans still oppose these adoptions because their right-wing, religiously fanatic base is still fervently against them. Apparently they would rather let children grow up in over-burdened institutions rather than let them go to loving, caring homes for no other plausible reason than political expediency.

To read the full story, go to: Miamiherald.com