As Charlie Crist contemplates accepting 3rd DCA ruling on gay adoption, Rick Scott says he wants to keep the ban

Leslie Cooper with the ACLU's LGBT Project, also hopes the state won't appeal to the Supremes.  But she's feeling confident that if the case does go to high court, they will rule as the two previous courts have on this issue, which Florida has had on its books since 1977.

“The Third District Court of Appeal, in a powerful unanimous decision, has declared the statute unconstitutional because it serves no child welfare purpose. Until the Governor’s statements yesterday, it seemed certain that the Florida Supreme Court would be the final arbiter. But, we hope that will not be the case. The Department of Children and Families has stated that they would like clarity from the courts on this issue. Yesterday, the Third District Court of Appeal gave the State that clarity.

“If the State chooses not to appeal, the appellate court decision will be binding on trial courts statewide and will allow lesbians and gay men who are interested in adopting-- no matter where they live in the State—to apply and be evaluated under the same criteria applied to everyone else. This is precisely what our litigation has sought to achieve.

“If the State chooses not to appeal, justice will have been served. We are hopeful that the case will end here and bring closure for Martin’s family and thousands of similarly situated Floridians. It’s time to end the legal limbo.

“If, however, the State chooses to appeal Martin’s case, we’re confident that the Florida Supreme Court will reach the same result as the Third District Court of Appeal.”

Meanwhile, in Jacksonville on Thursday GOP gubernatorial aspirant Rick Scott said he's very much against the idea of gay adoption.  According to the FloridaTimes-Union:

Speaking in Jacksonville after a town hall event, Scott, the Republican candidate for governor, said he was opposed to what he termed "single sex adoption."

"Children should be raised in a home with a married man and a woman," Scott said.

Pressed to expand on whether the state should forbid gays from having children through other methods, such as surrogate parenting or in vitro fertilization, Scott repeated his previous statement.

Attorney General Bill McCollum is playing it low-key, not having publicly made any comments over the past 24 hours.  McCollum was adamantly against allowing gays to adopt children, an opinion he expressed freely when on the campaign trail.

When asked about Wednesday's ruled by the 3rd District Court of Appeals affirming a lower court's ruling that Florida's gay adoption ban is unconstitutional, Governor Charlie Crist has yet to clarify whether he will challenge the ruling to the state's Supreme Court.

Crist, who in his battle to sway Democrats in the U.S. Senate race suddenly has seen the light on gay rights and released a position paper last week on some issues that affect the LGBT community, says he wants to speak with the man who has been at the center of the gay adoption controversy the past couple of years, Martin Gill, before deciding what the state should do.

Gill said today that he after consulting with ACLU attorneys, he hopes that Crist will drop any appeal.

“The ban has kept me from adopting the two boys who have known me as Papi for the past six years.  This deprives them of the emotional security of knowing they are part of a forever family.

“The law is also an obstacle to adoption for countless other Florida children who have no family of their own.

“I understand that if the State does not appeal this decision, it will apply to all Floridians and put an end to this baseless law that has harmed my kids and so many other children and families.

“I am eager to adopt my two children and to remove this barrier to adoption for other children as soon as possible. Ending this case now would be the quickest way for that to happen.”

Scroll to read more News Feature articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.