Friday, May 1, 2009

Florida adoption ban update.

We’ve been keeping track of this at SoulForce, so the following is based on the highlights of that thread.
Thanks to Anita Bryant and her “fans,” there’s been a gay adoption ban in Florida since 1977.
Last November, an Orlando Sentinel published an article titled: “Miami judge rules against Florida gay adoption ban”
“A Miami Dade Circuit judge [Cindy S. Lederman] ruled today that a gay man and his partner should be able to adopt the two foster children they have raised for four years. [Saying,] “There is no rational basis to preclude homosexuals from adopting”
That article is now gone from the original link. Fortunately, Matt Algren who started the thread, published it in full on SoulForce (linked above) and on his blog, and just in case you think I’m a lying because I’m a militant homosexual activist, here’s a Google search on the matter. Go nuts.
Frank Martin Gill and his partner have been taking care of these kids for years now, and asked the ACLU to help them adopt the boys. Here’s a brief profile on the family:

Fighting Florida's Gay Adoption Ban
ACLULGBT November 25, 2008

And here’s a news clip of the event:

Florida Gay Adoption Ban Unconstitutional
seth3481 November 25, 2008

For the record, you can see my transcription of the news clip here.

The salient point is thus:
Reporter Gary Nelson: Well this ruling here in Miami Dade County today sets a precedent, one that the state’s conservative Attorney General promised to immediately appeal.

Voiceover: But the ink was scarcely dry on Judge Lederman’s ruling when the state announced a challenge.

State's Spokeswoman: We have filed a notice of appeal with the court, on this order already this morning.
On December 11th, of last year, Mike Thomas of the Orlando Sentinel, wrote a commentary titled: “State’s hypocrisy on gay adoptions could tear apart this family

This article also disappeared. At the time, I emailed Mike Thomas about the missing article, and did not receive a reply. So I then found the cached versions, which have now also disappeared.

Fortunately, Matt took screen caps of the article: Page 1 and Page 2.

I don’t know if “politics” were involved in the deletion of those articles (and the cached pages of the commentary), but there are a few things of interest to note.
Mike Thomas: The attorney general's main expert witnesses was George Rekers, a Miami clinical psychologist and Baptist minister who believes gays are immoral and has written that gay activists are trying to legalize pedophilia. He argues gays are more prone to depressive disorders, substance abuse and unstable relationships, disqualifying them as adoptive parents.
He adds that the state paid $60,000 for Rekers’ quack testimony.

And as BoxTurtleBulletin points out:
Lawyers for the state of Florida immediately said they would appeal the ruling. During the hearings, attorneys for the state brought in so-called “experts” George Rekers and Walter Schumm, both of whom are closely associated with Paul Cameron. Rekers used his own particular brand of junk science to support the state’s position that gays should be barred from adopting, adding that he believed the ban should extend to Native Americans for the same reasons.
Now, these are the portions of Mike Thomas’ commentary that caught my eye:
DCF is fighting Gill because it fears a political backlash from social conservatives if he is allowed to adopt the boys. They could bring intense political pressure to ban gay foster parents. That would be devastating, particularly as the economy worsens, the number of abuse cases rises and the state's resources dwindle.

This is not about what's best for kids. It's a political agenda by people who consider homosexuals sinful deviants. And the image of gays living in stable relationships, driving minivans, and caring for damaged children undercuts their cause and their moral superiority.
And now among their allies they can include DCF Secretary George Sheldon, Gov. Charlie Crist and Attorney General Bill McCollum.
Enough to make you wanna puke.

Finally, I found this article today, from Tampa Bay Online:
Bill to overturn ban on gay adoptions likely to fade

Now the state Legislature is faced with a bill aimed at overturning the state's 1977 ban on gay adoption, and Florida's Third District Court of Appeals must resolve a lawsuit over the issue stemming from Gill's case. The case is likely to move on to the Florida Supreme Court...

...The legislation is expected to die without coming to a vote before the Legislature adjourns next week...

...Former state legislator Baxley and other conservatives want the state to maintain its gay adoption ban and support the Department of Children and Families' decision to fight Lederman's ruling and the Legislature's decision for a seventh straight year to maintain the law.

They say it's better for the children to remain in foster care and keep their chance to be adopted by a heterosexual person or couple than to be adopted by a gay person or couple. More than 3,000 children in Florida's foster care system await adoption, most of them having suffered abuse or neglect.
That last part kind of reminds me of Matthew 18:12:

"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?”

The Christian conservative version might go something like this:

"What do you think? If gay couples can provide loving and nurturing homes to 3000 children, and one of them has the chance to be adopted by a heterosexual couple, wouldn’t Christian conservatives leave the 2,999 to languish in foster care for the chances of that one?”

1 comment:

two crows said...

well, what can we expect from the state that was so influential in appointing the 43rd president of the United States?

the Constitution be damned if one minority group can be defamed and thousands of children deprived of parents in the process.
and all in the name of bigotry.