A Florida court ruled yesterday that the state's ban on gay people adopting children is unconstitutional — and pending an appeal, the ban will be lifted.
According to John Schwartz of the Times, Florida's Third District Court of Appeals ruled that the ban has "no rational basis" and thus goes against the Florida Constitution's equal protection clause. Gov. Charlie Crist says, "It's a very good day for Florida; it's a great day for children. Children deserve a loving home to be in." He adds, "We are going to immediately stop enforcing the ban." Martin Gill (pictured), who sued the state for the right to legally adopt the two boys he and his partner had been fostering for five years, is excited to tell his kids the news. However, Judge Gerald B. Cope Jr. says his court's decision is "unlikely to be the last word." The state has 30 days to appeal — the attorney general's office hasn't yet decided whether it will.
At the trial, those opposed to the ban offered evidence that "found no difference in the well-being of children raised by gay parents versus heterosexual parents." Supporters of the ban called two expert witnesses, one of whom actually harmed their case by saying that adoptions by gay couples should be considered on a case-by-case basis, rather than banned across the board. Then there was Dr. George A. Rekers, whose work has been criticized as riddled with "errors in scientific methodology and reporting." Oh, and there's this:
The court did not comment on the fact that Dr. Rekers, who was paid $120,000 for his work in the case, has since been enmeshed in a scandal after he was discovered to have taken a 10-day trip to Europe with a young man who advertised sexual services on a site for gay escorts.
Maybe for their appeal, the state can call Ted Haggard.