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Senate finally allows debate on gay adoption

by Dara Kam | March 16th, 2010

Senate President Jeff Atwater allowed Democrats to talk about repealing the state’s gay adoption ban during the afternoon session today.

Sen. Nan Rich has tried and failed for the past four years to have her bills that would do away with Florida’s 33-year-old prohibition against gay couples or individuals adopting.

But today, Atwater allowed Sen. Charlie Justice to offer an amendment on a bill that would prohibit adoption agencies from discriminating against gun owners. Justice’s amendment proposed a similar prohibition for discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“Whether a person owns a gun or not has no bearing on his or her ability to be a loving parent,” Rich, D-Weston, said.

The ban on gay adoption is a “far graver inequality,” she said, and is “a law grounded on fear and ignorance rather than in sound public policy.”

Gay couples are allowed to be foster parents but are barred from permanently adopting the children. More than 3,000 Florida kids are waiting to be adopted and about 25,000 of them live in foster care.

A state appeals court is currently considering whether the law is unconstitutional, as some judges have recently ruled. The 1st District Court of Appeals could rule at any time on a case in which a judge allowed Martin Gill, a gay Miami-Dade County man, to adopt two foster children who have been in his care for years. The state is appealing the adoptions.

“I know this amendment is not going to pass today and that Florida’s discriminatory adoption ban will not fall today,” Rich concluded. ”It’s been four year since there’s been any debate on this issue in any official Senate proceeding in any Senate committee and it’s been 33 years since this issue has been debated on the floor of this chamber. It’s about time we did something about that.”

Justice, D-St. Petersburg, withdrew the amendment before a vote could be taken.

Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, offered a similar amendment on the House floor this afternoon. He also withdrew the measure before it could be voted on.

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8 Responses to “Senate finally allows debate on gay adoption”

  1. Outrage Says:

    The movie “Outrage” brought out the fact that our gay governor Crist does not support gays in adoption and other gay issues. I for one certainly hope they remember this and vote against the closet gay governor for any office he seeks.

  2. Quick Hits » Florida Progressive Coalition Blog - Says:

    [...] Debate begins on Florida’s gay adoption ban [...]

  3. No... Says:

    It’s the 3rd DCA that handles Miami cases, not the 1st DCA. Do you people even have fact checkers?

  4. Martin Gill Says:

    500 children a year are killed in gun accidents. See-

    But research shows that children are not harmed by having gay parents. So guns in the home kill, while gay parents do no harm. Meanwhile, thousands of kids wait for adoptive parents. Hundreds age out of the system each year having never been adopted.

    If you have a pool, DCF makes you attend a special training. What’s so different about being a gun owner?

    What’s wrong with the Florida Legislature?

  5. No Brains Says:

    #4. I can tell you what’s wrong with the Florida Legislature. Its full of nuts and kooks just like the ones you see driving up and down the roads!

  6. MarioFL Says:

    It about time!!

  7. Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Running the Gauntlet Says:

    [...] are “consistently ranked in the bottom 25 percent” nationwide. Adoption by gay couples is still banned, and they’re close to having a referendum on an abortion-banning “personhood” [...]

  8. Chiropractic Care Says:

    I own a chiropractic clinic, and I think you are spot on. This is my first time reading your blog, but I will definitely be back. Keep up the good work!

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