Posts Tagged ‘equal protection’

While this posting is a little off topic in that it does not apply to the workplace, it does apply to discrimination against homosexuals and it is a legal decision of some real significance in the State of Florida.

The opinion of the trial court and the appellate court in Florida draws into question the legality of Florida statute Section 63.042, which provides, “No person eligible to adopt under this statute [the Florida Adoption Act] may adopt if that person is a homosexual.” § 63.042(3), Fla. Stat. (2006). Curiously however, under Florida law, homosexuals can serve as foster parents.

The Florida adoption statute calls for an individual, case-by-case evaluation to determine if the proposed adoption is in the best interest of the child. This includes things such as home studies and many other factors. Except for homosexual persons, there is no automatic, categorical exclusion of anyone from consideration for adoption.

The trial court determined that there was no rational basis for this statute and the appellate court upheld that determination. The Third District Court of Appeal stated “Under Florida law, homosexual persons are allowed to serve as foster parents or guardians but are barred from being considered for adoptive parents. All other persons are eligible to be considered case-by-case to be adoptive parents, but not homosexual persons—even where, as here, the adoptive parent is a fit parent and the adoption is in the best interest of the children.
The Department has argued that evidence produced by its experts and F.G.’s experts supports a distinction wherein homosexual persons may serve as foster parents or guardians, but not adoptive parents. Respectfully, the portions of the record cited by the Department do not support the Department’s position. We conclude that there is no rational basis for the statute.”

The case is called Florida Department of Children and Families v. In re: Matter of Adoption of X.X.G. and N.R.G., and is located at http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D08-3044.pdf.

Presumably the State of Florida will appeal this decision to the Florida Supreme Court, so we will await to see the results.

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