Main | Wednesday, January 19, 2011

FLORIDA: Gov. Rick Scott Appoints "Christians Only" Activist To Head State Agency On Adoptions

Florida Gov. Rick "Medicare Fraud" Scott has appointed Christian activist David Wilkins to head the state Department of Children and Families, which is in charge of adoptions. Wilkins is the former head of a Baptist adoption agency which states that only "professed Christians" are eligible for consideration as parents. Gay rights groups are concerned that Scott's move signals an intent to overturn the recent advances for gay families in Florida. The Miami Herald reports:
Some children's advocates find Wilkins' ties to fundamentalist religious groups unsettling, particularly coming only months after a Miami appeals court declared unconstitutional a Florida law -- the only one of its kind in the U.S. -- that banned adoption by gay men and lesbians. Both Sheldon and then-Attorney General Bill McCollum chose not to appeal the Third District Court of Appeal's ruling to the Florida Supreme Court, saying the decision held sway throughout the state. Sheldon ordered his leadership team to cease enforcing the ban. But Wilkins and Scott could challenge the Miami ruling by refusing to allow a gay man or woman to adopt elsewhere in the state -- which could trigger an appeal to the state's highest court. On its website, the Baptist Children's Home says that "in order to adopt through the Florida Baptist Children's Homes we require that you be a professing Christian, be active in a local Christian church, and follow a lifestyle that is consistent with the Christian faith.'' Howard Simon, head of of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which represented Martin Gill in his successful challenge to the law banning gays and lesbians from adopting, said, ``we're certainly concerned about whether this might mean the state might try to undo our historic adoption victory."
RELATED: Today Florida parent Martin Gill and his partner were able to finally officially adopt their two foster sons. It was Gill's ACLU-backed lawsuit that overturned Florida's ban on gay adoption.

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