Out In West Palm Beach
March 2, 2010
(Lake Worth, Florida) On the opening day of the Florida Legislative Session, Lake Worth City Commissioners unanimously voted to direct legislators to repeal a Florida law that has banned adoptions by gay men and lesbians since 1977.
The resolution, which was introduced by Lake Worth City Commissioner Cara Jennings, calls for state lawmakers to repeal Section 63.042 of Florida Statute which provides, "No person eligible to adopt under this statute may adopt if that person is a homosexual."
Youth intervention specialist Donald Cavanaugh spoke in favor of the resolution, as did several other individuals affiliated with COMPASS -- Palm Beach County's GLBT community center.
Two bills, SB 102 and HB 3, were introduced by Senator Nan Rich (D-Sunrise) and Representative Mary Brandenburg (D-West Palm Beach) to repeal the adoption ban.
Florida is the only state with a law prohibiting gay men and lesbians - couples and individuals - from adopting children.
Three Florida courts have ruled that there is no rational, scientific or moral reason that sexual orientation should be a barrier to adopting children and that the ban on adoption by gay men and lesbians is unconstitutional, according to retired judge Rand Hoch, President and Founder of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council.
The Council is a local nonprofit organization which is dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
"Three court decisions have now held that the ban on gay adoptions is unconstitutional," said Hoch. "Since the rulings apply only in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, the legislature must now take action to permit gay men and lesbians to adopt children throughout the state of Florida."
"If the adoption ban is not repealed by the legislature this session, ultimately this unjust law will be overturned by the Florida Supreme Court," said Hoch.
Securing Our Children's Rights (SOCR) is the leading statewide organization lobbying for the repeal of Florida's law. For more information about SOCR, go to: www.socrflorida.com.
The ACLU of Florida has also undertaken a campaign to end the adoption ban. For more information on the ACLU's campaign, go to: http://www.aclufl.org/issues/lesbian_gay_rights/gay_adoption.cfm.
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