Gay Adoption Ban Dead: Bill McCollum Will Not Appeal Ruling

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Martin Gill and his sons are now legally a family
An appellate court's decision that Florida's ban on gay adoption will stand, meaning potential gay parents through out the state will be able to adopt. Attorney General Bill McCollum's office had until 5 pm today to decide whether or not to appeal a decision last month by a Miami appeals court that affirmed the case was unconstitutional. In a just released statement he explained why he won't go forward with an appeal. 

"The constitutionality of the Florida law banning adoption by homosexuals is a divisive matter of great public interest. As such, the final determination should rest with the Florida Supreme Court, not a lower appellate court. But after reviewing the merits of independently seeking Supreme Court review, following the decision of our client the Department of Children and Families not to appeal the decision of the Third District Court of Appeal, it is clear that this is not the right case to take to the Supreme Court for its determination. No doubt someday a more suitable case will give the Supreme Court the opportunity to uphold the constitutionality of this law."
McCollum's decision comes after Governor Charlie Crist stated that he no longer wanted the state's 33 year ban on gay adoption, the only such ban in the United State, to be enforced. The Department of Children and Families had earlier decided not to appeal the ruling, and as of last month decided to no longer ask perspective parents about their sexual orientation.

The ban was first overturned by Miami judge Cindy Ledermen in a case in which Martin Gill, an openly gay man, challenged the state to allow him to adopt two boys he had cared for as a foster parent for years. Following last months' decision by an appellate court that the ban was unconstitutional, Gill became the first openly gay parents to adopt children in Florida for the first time in over thirty years.

McCollum's decision not to appeal the case will allow other gay parents to adopt.

"This ban was nothing more than prejudice propped up by junk science. We are thankful that, as a result of this victory, the Gill family can move on with their lives and children trapped in our state's foster care system will have the opportunity for a better life in the permanent homes they deserve," said Howard Simon, the president of the ACLU of Florida in a release.

Though, because the state Supreme Court has not issued a ruling on the matter it opens the door for legal challenges on gay adoption in the future. 

McCollum's term as Attorney General will come to an end in January after his unsuccessful attempt to run for Governor. Republican AG candidate Pam Bondi has said she would try to uphold the constitutionality of the law. Democratic candidate Dan Gelber has said that, "I don't think as a lawyer I can make a straight-faced argument that the ban is constitutional," and would not work in the future to reinstate the ban.
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