By a unanimous decision, an appeals court has upheld a Miami judge who ruled that Florida's anti-gay adoption ban is unconstitutional.
The Third District Court of Appeals three-judge panel agreed with Miami Judge Cindy Lederman who ruled in 2008 that there is "no rational basis to prohibit gay parents from adopting" and that the law violates equal protection rights for the children and their prospective gay parents.
The opinion reads in part:
"We affirm the judgment of adoption, which holds subsection 63.042(3), Florida Statutes, violates the equal protection provision found in article I, section 2, of the Florida Constitution."
"Given a total ban on adoption by homosexual persons, one might expect that this reflected a legislative judgment that homosexual persons are, as a group, unfit to be parents," the opinion states.
"No one in this case has made, or even hinted at, any such argument. To the contrary, the parties agree 'that gay people and heterosexuals make equally good parents.'"
You can read the full decision here.
This is an historic day but the fight is not over yet. The case may now head to the Florida Supreme Court and anti-gay extremists are expected to seek a ballot measure putting this discrimination into the state Constitution. Equality Florida will continue working with our team across the state to be ready to defend this victory.
What a phenomenal day for Martin Gill and his family who have challenged this ban head on. A big congratulations to the legal team at the ACLU of Florida who worked so hard on this case.
Thank you to all the Floridians who have helped to expose the bigotry of this ban.
Click here to send a note to the Gill family to say "congratulations!" and thank them for standing up.