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Supremes set back gay adoption

If Rehnquist goes, the Right is going to have a crack at changing the legal fabric of our nation. Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Associate Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy. From left, back row are: Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter, Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer. (AP)

This is so unfortunate. Florida allows gays to be foster parents, but not permanent parents, so the refusal of the Supreme Court to take a stand on this issue leaves it wide open for discriminatory laws to spread around the country. And who will suffer? The children that would otherwise not have a chance at a permanent, loving home. (CBS News):

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday by four men who challenged Florida’s ban on adoption by gay couples, avoiding another contentious fight over gay rights. Florida is the only state with a blanket law prohibiting homosexuals from adopting children, but the high court was told that other states could now feel free to copy the ban.

Opponents argued that the 1977 law, passed at the height of Anita Bryant’s anti-homosexual campaign, was irrational because it excluded potential parents for thousands of abandoned children. Supporters contend the state has the power to promote traditional father-mother families.

The high court’s refusal to hear the case, made without comment, avoids a second showdown over gay rights there in two years. Justices, in a historic civil rights ruling, barred states in 2003 from criminalizing gay sex. The court said then that states ‘cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime.’

The ruling set off a firestorm of criticism by conservative and religious groups. Three justices also complained that the court, generally known for its conservatism, had gone overboard in pandering to the ‘homosexual agenda.’

The latest case involves gay foster parents in Florida who want to adopt children in their care. The American Civil Liberties Union’s Lesbian and Gay Rights Project, representing the parents, argued that that the state unconstitutionally singles out gays, based on discrimination.

‘The plain and well-understood purpose of the ban was to tell gay people to go back into the closet,’ ACLU attorney Matthew Coles told justices in a filing.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding