As Florida awaits an appeals court ruling that may legalize gay adoption, state Sen. Nan Rich (D-Weston) is doing an end run around the court.
Rich, who is co-chair of the Senate Children & Families Committee, has filed a bill to repeal the 1977 Florida law that prohibits gay men and lesbians from adopting children. A second bill would specify that judges would determine adoptions based solely on ”the best interests” of children. ”Someone who is a good parent — whether they are heterosexual or homosexual — that’s what we should be basing decisions on, not sexual orientation,” Rich said. “We need to be looking at what’s in the best interests of children.” Florida’s adoption law has been stirring controversy since last summer, when a Monroe County judge, David John Audlin Jr., declared the law unconstitutional, allowing a Key West lawyer and his longtime partner to adopt a boy they had raised in foster care for several years.
The Florida Bar Board Of Governors wants to issue an amicus brief in support of the case pending in the appeals court. However the Christianist group Liberty Counsel has petitioned the state Supreme Court to have the brief barred, saying the Bar does not represent lawyers who oppose gay adoption. Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver: “Homosexual adoption is nothing less than a policy which says that moms and dads are expendable.”
The above-linked story does not speculate on whether Sen. Rich’s bill would pass.