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Florida State and the Future of Gay Adoption Essay

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Florida state law currently bans lesbians and gay men from adopting children. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is attempting to get a case before the Supreme Court that could overturn the law. The ban on gay adoption has been in place since 1977, when the state legislature almost unanimously condoned restriction of the rights of its gay citizens. Legislation on the issue was sparked by Anita Bryant's "Save Our Children" campaign, which raged through Florida and even beyond spreading myths about homosexuality and linking homosexuality to pedophilia. At the time of its inception, Senator Curtis Peterson, one of its primary supporters, spoke to the law's true purpose: "The problem in Florida has been that homosexuals are surfacing to such an extent that they're beginning to aggravate the ordinary folks. We're trying to send them a message, telling them: ¡®We're really tired of you. We wish you'd go back into the closet" (1).

The state's attitude, while becoming more equally divided on the issue, has not changed significantly enough to overturn the law. An appeal was made to a three-person appeals panel, which upheld the law. A request for reconsideration of the decision made to the federal Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which encompasses the geographic area of Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, was denied. This denial has allowed the ACLU to bring the case before the Supreme Court for consideration.

Perhaps most indicative of the law's blatantly homophobic basis is the fact that the state has no restrictions on using gays and lesbians to relieve the burden on the foster care system. The state frequently uses gay couples to provide homes for disabled and terminally ill children, but refuses to recognize that thi...


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...ion, it will shape the framework in which we discuss the issue of gay adoption. This is true. We must recognize the fearful power of one to appoint these decision makers without a sufficiently balanced congress- it is the ability to embody political rhetoric within a judicial structure. Rhetoric itself may and does sway public opinion, but its embodiment is the ability to set precedents which may be applied in broad-sweeping generalities, rather than the specifics of a single law.


Internet Sources:

1)ACLU, Background information on the specific case in Florida.

2)Let Him Stay, Specifically devoted to the Croteau-Lofton case giving detailed information on the family, laws and legislation affecting the case.

3)Human Rights Campaign, State-by-state information on both current and pending legislation on a wide range of issues affecting the LGBT community.


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