Main | Thursday, September 16, 2010

FLORIDA: Crist's Flip-Flop Could Actually Continue Ban On Gay Adoption

Earlier this week FL Gov. Charlie Crist announced that he was considered dropping the state's appeal of a ruling allowing a Miami Beach gay couple to adopt. But dropping the appeal could mean the court never rules on the law's constitutionality, leaving the issue in limbo.
"We'd still be left with the statute" that bans gay adoptions, said Miami Beach lawyer Alan Mishael, who has represented two homosexuals who successfully adopted. "We'd still be where we started - judging on a case-by-case basis." At first blush Crist's flip-flop to support gay adoption might seem to thrill Gill. If the challenge was dropped, Gill could go home to his sons in peace and perhaps not worry that they could be torn away from him. But that is not what Gill or the lawyers attacking the law - the last one in the nation expressly banning all homosexuals from adopting - want.

Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida which represents Gill, has said if the state were to drop its appeal, the Miami-Dade judge's decision that found the law unconstitutional likely would be the final say in that county. But not so elsewhere, and judges in other counties could still turn down gays seeking to adopt. The ban has prevented most adoptions by gays, but a few trial court judges have declared it unconstitutional, allowing a small handful to adopt. Simon and other advocates want the ban struck down statewide.
Crist has not given a timetable for making his decision.

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