FL Adoption Ban Goes To Appeals Court
The Florida Third District Court of Appeals heard arguments today from the ACLU that urged the Court to uphold a lower court's ruling that a ban on adoption by gay parents was unconstitutional. The attorney representing the state blathered the usual nonsense.
Timothy Osterhaus, the deputy solicitor general representing the state Department of Children & Families, urged the judges to focus on a relatively narrow legal question: whether the Legislature had a "rational basis" for the law because of purportedly heightened risk factors among potential gay parents. If there was such a basis, Osterhaus said the appeals court should reverse the earlier decision. Osterhaus cited as risk factors studies indicating gay people have higher instances than heterosexuals of psychiatric disorders; that children in gay homes are more sexually active; that gay relationships are less stable; and that children in gay homes suffer more bullying and teasing from other kids because of their parents. "We're talking about the cumulative effect. The rational basis test requires a single plausible reason," Osterhaus said.The ACLU brought the case on behalf of the Gill family, two gay men who are the foster parents of boys aged 5 and 9. Florida is the only state that bans adoption by gay parents, but somehow does think it's fine for gays to be guardians or foster parents. This inconsistency may be key to overturning the ban. The Florida Family Policy Council is heavily lobbying the state to uphold the ban.