By Peter J. Smith

MIAMI, Florida, October 25, 2010 ( – The attorney general of Florida announced Friday that he will not appeal to the state supreme court to defend the state’s three-decade ban on homosexual adoptions.

AG Bill McCollum made the announcement Friday, saying that his office and the Department of Children and Families had come to the conclusion that they shouldn't seek an appeal of the case.

In late September, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals ruled 3 – 0 to uphold the 2008 ruling of a Miami-Dade judge, who stated “no rational basis” existed for the ban. At that time the judge allowed Martin Gill and his homosexual partner to adopt two half-brothers, now 10 and 6 years old, whom they had cared for as foster-parents since 2004.

McCollum said that while the constitutionality of the ban on homosexual adoptions is “a divisive matter of great public interest,” he did not believe the state’s high court should make that ruling at this time.

“No doubt someday a more suitable case will give the Supreme Court the opportunity to uphold the constitutionality of this law.” 

Without an appeal, the ban on homosexual adoptions will no longer be enforced in the state of Florida.

Both the American Civil Liberties Union and Gov. Charlie Crist had pushed for the case to go to the Florida Supreme Court, which they hoped would settle the constitutional questions in their favor.

Crist said that given the current make-up of the high court, he expected that Gill and the ACLU “would have a very good chance to get a very good ruling.”

McCollum’s decision not to appeal means that the constitutional questions of the homosexual adoption ban might later be taken up by a Supreme Court that could have a different political make-up, depending on the state’s current governor. Potential justices are selected by a judicial nominating commission, which then submits between three to six nominees to the governor. The governor then makes an appointment without any further approval process.

Pro-family advocates had pointed out in wake of the state appeals court decision that a federal appeals court had found no fault with Florida’s ban on homosexual adoptions. The public interest firm Liberty Counsel pointed out that the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had rejected a constitutional challenge to the law, saying that it served “a legitimate interest” in the state’s policy to guarantee that adopted children were raised by a mother and a father. 

See related coverage by

Florida Appeals Court Rejects Homosexual Adoption Ban


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