Thursday, January 29, 2004

Bigotry Wins Again

From the Miami Herald:

Ban on adoptions by gays upheld by U.S. appeals court

Even though Florida is the only state to prohibit gay adoptions, appellate judges say they have no right to overrule the state Legislature.

BY DAVID OVALLE

dovalle@herald.com

A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld a Florida law that bars gay men and women from adopting children, maintaining Florida’s distinction as the only state that bans any gay person from adopting.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with an earlier federal ruling that threw out a high-profile lawsuit filed by four gay men who said the ban violated their constitutional rights because, although they were allowed to be foster parents or guardians, they were not allowed to adopt.

”Florida has made the determination that it is not in the best interests of its displaced children to be adopted by” gay people, Judge Stanley Birch wrote in the court’s unanimous decision, “and we found nothing in the Constitution that forbids this policy judgment.”

The state enacted the blanket ban on adoption for gay singles and couples in 1977. It came after the Anita Bryant-fueled ”Save the Children” anti-homosexuality campaign and the early days of the gay rights movement.

”We exercise great caution when asked to take sides in an ongoing public policy debate,” Birch wrote. “Any argument that the Florida Legislature was misguided in its decision is one of legislative policy, not constitutional law.”

Somebody should send this Court a copy of Lawrence v. Texas, the ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. Equal protection means equal protection.