By Carlos Santoscoy – On Top Magazine
Published: October 13, 2010
The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) announced Tuesday evening that it would not appeal a court ruling that found the state’s gay adoption ban unconstitutional, CNN reported.
Last month, a 3-judge appeals court unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling that found the law to be unconstitutional and to have “no rational basis.”
“We had weighed an appeal to the Florida Supreme Court to achieve an ultimate certainty and finality for all parties,” DCF spokesman Joe Follick told CNN. “But the depth, clarity and unanimity of the DCA opinion – and that of Miami-Dade Judge Cindy Lederman’s original circuit court decision – has made it evident that an appeal would have a less than limited chance of a different outcome.”
Attorney General Bill McCollum has yet to announce whether his department will appeal the ruling.
The decision means that Frank Martin Gill, the plaintiff being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), can legally adopt the two half brothers he and his partner have raised since 2004.
“We are happy to hear that DCF wants to bring this case to an end and allow the Gill family to get on with their lives,” Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, said in a statement.
“What is needed now is a similar statement from Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum that will formally end this case and allow judges to decide – on a case-by-case basis – what is in the best interests of children.”
“Ending this case here will mean that gay people throughout the State of Florida can apply to adopt and will be treated like everyone else,” Simon added. “This means that more children will have the opportunity to have a permanent home with a loving family.”
Florida enacted the ban 17 years ago. It is the only state with an outright ban. Other states have enacted laws that limit gay couples’ access to adoption. Such as Arkansas, which denies unmarried couples – in a state that bans gay marriage – the right to jointly adopt children.