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Gay Marriage

Florida is the only state in the nation with a total ban on adoption by gays, whether married or single. The law passed in 1977 has withstood several challenges in state court; the ACLU is not about to give up the fight.

Last month the 11th District Court of Appeals upheld the Florida law banning gay men and lesbians from adopting. The ACLU is calling the decision a civil rights issue, while others say it was a good decision.

"Florida has the most restricted adoption policies, it's discrimination plain and simple," says Patrick Galberth.

"The situation with gay adoption in Florida, it's a great idea, but it doesn't work," Dr. Richard Ledford adds.

The ACLU says it is asking the court to reconsider on behalf of four gay men in Florida who want to adopt. They say there is a contradiction in Florida's law.

"What Florida is doing is so wrong. The Department of Children and Families looks for volunteers and actively recruits gays and lesbians to foster children. When the children are ready for adoption, we say 'no, you're not eligible, because you're gay'," says Larry Spalding.

Those who oppose changing the law say it protects children.

"Children have several things that they need. They gain certain traits from moms and dads. If a child is only exposed to one or the other, the child doesn't fully develop," says Dr. Ledford.

The ACLU says this is a fight that could wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court. Two of the three families represented by the ACLU in the Florida case are raising foster children.


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