Florida Bar supports fight against state’s ban on adoptions by gays
The Florida Bar supports gay adoption.
The Bar’s board of governors voted unanimously to file an amicus brief before the 3rd District Court of Appeal supporting a Miami-Dade circuit judge’s ruling that declared unconstitutional the state’s ban on gay adoptions.
“We thought it was appropriate to defend the judge’s decision,” said Nancy Gregoire, a family section member and a partner with Kirschbaum Birnbaum Lippman & Gregoire in Fort Lauderdale. “In my mind, speaking only for myself, it was the right thing to do and well past its time.”
Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman ruled in November that the state’s ban on gay adoption was unconstitutional.
Forty-two of 52 board members participated in the Friday vote. Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp’s chief of staff, Larry Ringers, filed the only recusal.
Bruce Rogow, a prominent constitutional lawyer and professor at Nova Southeastern University’s law school, said an amicus brief from the Bar could provide a persuasive argument in favor of gay adoption.
“It would be influential. It will say to the court that the leadership of the Bar agrees with the concept, and in these kinds of cases, the law can be made to do what you want it to do,” he said. “This is more of a policy situation than a constitutional argument, but we always wrap policy around constitutional arguments.”
The family law section’s five-page request to the board of governor’s offered an emotionally compelling argument in favor of adoption by the gay North Miami couple suing to overturn the ban.
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On Friday, January 30, 2009, The Florida Bar Board of Governors approved a request from the Family Law Section for the section to file an amicus brief with the Third District Court of Appeal supporting a ruling of an 11th Circuit judge striking down the state’s law banning homosexual couples from adopting. The Florida Bar does not advocate nor endorse either supporting or overturning the state law that bans homosexuals from adopting children. The sole action of the Board of Governors in this matter was to allow the family law section to file an amicus brief on this issue. The section is composed entirely of voluntary members and is considered separate from the Bar. This section will be preparing the amicus brief, not the Bar. Further, no Bar funds will be used with respect to the family law section brief. This filing is tendered solely by the Family Law Section, supported by the separate resources of that voluntary organization and not in the name of The Bar.
Contact: Francine Walker, Director of Public Information, The Florida Bar, email@example.com
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