Friday, October 23, 2009

Florida Leaders See Hope in Adoption Bill

From The Advocate here.

Gay rights leaders in Florida -- the only state that explicitly bars gay couples from adopting -- are hopeful that a recently introduced federal adoption bill will make the state rethink its discriminatory law.

California congressman Pete Stark last week introduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which would cut off federal funding for any state program or agency that receives federal assistance for adoption or foster care placements but fails to comply with the nondiscrimination policies set forth in the legislation. Advocates hope that states will abandon discriminatory bans on adoption by same-sex couples if their funding is threatened by the federal government.

Florida's discriminatory adoption law, a remnant of the Anita Bryant antigay crusade of the 1970s, would be affected by Stark's bill should it pass. Civil rights leaders have been trying to reverse Florida's law for years; the state is currently appealing a Miami-Dade circuit judge's 2008 ruling that a Florida man's sexual orientation should not preclude him from adopting his two foster children. . . .

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