Fla. Court Rules Gay Adoption Ban Unconstitutional

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Florida will no longer enforce its law banning gay people from adopting children after a state appeals court ruled the law unconstitutional.

"Apparently it was a unanimous decision," Florida's Gov. Charlie Crist said. "I am very pleased with the ruling.  And I think having just spoken to Secretary Sheldon, we are going to immediately stop enforcing the ban."

The 3rd District Court of Appeal's decision upholds a lower court's 2008 ruling that there is no rational basis for the ban on gay adoptions.
Family law experts like Lynne Kohm, a law professor at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., disagree.

"Every family court in every state is charged with the legal standard of protecting what is in the best interest of this child," she said.

"And if the social research science shows that children are best provided for in a family with a father and a mother married to each other, it would seem that  should be the default ruling for adoption," she explained.

Christian adoption agencies are also concerned that legalizing gay adoption could impact their religious freedom.

"What's wrong with gay adoption from a religious liberty perspective is that it forces religious agencies and individuals to do something that violates their conscience, and that is wrong," said Keven Hasson, founder and president of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, public-interest law firm that protects the free expression of all religious traditions.

Matthew Staver, an attorney with the Virginia-based Liberty Counsel and a supporter of the ban, asserts that adoption is a right - not a privilege under Florida state law.

"Common sense and human history underscore the fact that children need a mother and a father," Staver said in a released statement. "Gender does matter to the well-being of children. Moms and dads are not optional non-essential in the lives of children."

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