Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Good News on the Equality Front

Two pieces of good news today for gays, lesbians, and everyone else.

Here in Florida, good news for families:

Florida child welfare administrators will not appeal last month’s ruling that tossed out Florida’s controversial gay-adoption law.

George Sheldon, secretary of the Department of Children & Families, announced Tuesday his agency will not appeal a ruling by the Third District Court of Appeal that declared the 33-year-old law unconstitutional. The ruling involved two former foster children adopted by Frank Martin Gill, an openly gay North Miami man who took custody of the boys under DCF’s authorization.

”It’s clear that the District Court of Appeal decision is of statewide application, and it will be binding on all trial courts across the state,” Sheldon said.

As of last week, the state had exhausted the time to challenge the Gill adoption, and so, regardless of the law’s status, the two children will remain Gill’s adoptive children, Sheldon said.

Florida is the only state with a law that explicitly bans gays and lesbians from adopting children, although they can serve as foster parents.

And good news for the military:

A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday immediately stopping enforcement of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, suspending the 17-year-old ban on openly gay U.S. troops.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips’ landmark ruling also ordered the government to suspend and discontinue all pending discharge proceedings and investigations under the policy.

U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Pentagon and Department of Justice officials said they are reviewing the case and had no immediate comment.

Yip-yahs all around.

Cue the right-wing whining about activist judges in 3…2…1….