Thus far, 2010 has been a great year for LGBT rights. As noted previously, federal judges have struck down Prop 8’s gay marriage ban, section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, and the military’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy.
Today the gay rights movement scored another win — this time in Florida, and this time from a state court….
Chris Geidner of Metro Weekly has this report:
Today, in a long-awaited decision, the Florida Court of Appeals for the Third District unanimously upheld the trial court’s ruling that Florida’s statutory ban and gay and lesbian people adopting children in the state is unconstitutional. Noting that Judge Cindy Lederman conducted “lengthy hearings” at trial, the appellate judges today upheld her conclusion that the law violates the state’s equal protection clause because “there is no rational basis for the statute.”
The court first pointed out that no parties, including the Florida Department of Children and Families, contest that Martin Gill — the would-be adoptive father who brought the case — is “a fit parent” or that “gay people and heterosexuals make equally good parents.” The court then went on to detail the specific facts of this case and the Florida law generally before addressing the underlying legal questions.
You can read more about the disposition of those legal issues here.
Congratulations to Frank Martin Gill — a lawyer, by the way — and his partner, who can now adopt two brothers they’ve been raising in foster care since 2004.
Florida Court Finds for Adoption [Metro Weekly]
Florida Court Strikes Down State Ban on Gay Adoptions [WSJ Law Blog]
Fla. Appeals Court Strikes Down Gay Adoption Ban [ABA Journal]