EDITORIAL: After 33 years, Florida finally gets it right on gay adoption
NOTE: The Sun-Sentinel is running a fantastic editorial on the demise of Florida's harmful, unconstitutional adoption ban. In the coming months, the LGBT community and our allies will be called on to defend this great victory from extremists attacks, likely in the form of a 2012 ballot measure.
After 33 years, Florida finally gets it right on gay adoption
THE ISSUE: Finally, gay adoption fight ends.
October 19, 2010
It would have been a fitting funeral for Florida's archaic, bigoted gay adoption law if it had gone all the way to the state Supreme Court before finally being shot down.
That didn't happen, but the next best thing did — the Florida Department of Children & Families is at last giving up the ludicrous, wasteful and self-defeating fight.
Floridians should demand to know how much time and money was wasted by the state of Florida in an attempt to retain the backward distinction of having the most stringent gay adoption ban in the country. For 33 years — during which countless kids were denied a good, loving home because of bigotry and misplaced moral fervor — Florida law said gays and lesbians could not be adoptive parents.
But last month, the 3rd District Court of Appeal thankfully ruled the law unconstitutional, following the lead of other courts statewide and around the country. The DCF, sensing it had little chance of having the ban upheld if it kept up the fight, decided to drop it. And if Attorney General Bill McCollum or his successor has any thoughts of continuing to press for a ban on gay adoption, they need to abandon that idea.
The three-judge appellate court, in a 28-page decision, used experts who came to the conclusion that "gay people and heterosexuals make equally good parents." Yes, it only took Florida 33 years to go on the record saying that good parenting has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Too bad that, until even the Aug. 24 primary, there were still candidates for elected statewide office who refused to accept the truth.
Good parenting involves nurturing and love and teaching right from wrong — and so many other things. The state had previously said that gays could provide all of that as foster parents, but when it came to adoption, only heterosexuals were fit to be proper parents — heterosexuals who have a national divorce rate of over 40 percent, by the way.
So now, Florida joins the rest of the nation. Just consider it a victory for common sense and children in need.
Too bad it took over three decades.
BOTTOM LINE: Thirty-three years later, right decision is made.