Over 250 fair-minded demonstrators marched to the Florida Capitol Tuesday to lobby for repeal of the state’s legal ban on adoption by gay couples and passage of bills to include sexual orientation in civil-rights laws.
Despite the 62 percent public vote for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, several legislators told the demonstrators they should be optimistic about their long-term political prospects. Sens. Nan Rich, D-Weston; Elenaore Sobel, D-Hallendale Beach; and Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, told the mostly young crowd of marchers that trends of history are on their side.
Stuart Milk [pictured], the nephew of slain San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk, urged the demonstrators to go into the Capitol and lobby legislators for bills to combat “hate crimes,” repeal the ban on gay adoption and forbid discrimination in housing or employment on the basis of sexual orientation.
Frank “Martin” Gill, the plaintiff in a pending lawsuit aimed at repealing the adoption ban, said he and his partner have been foster parents for 10 children but when a South Florida circuit judge granted their request to adopt two boys, the state immediately appealed under the law forbidding adoption by gays.
“It doesn’t matter how good a parent you are, if you’re gay or lesbian, you cannot be considered for adopting in this state,” said Gill. “That is shameful.”