Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman has issued a ruling declaring Florida’s longstanding ban on adoptions by gays and lesbians unconstitutional.
The ruling comes less than a month after voters there elected to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage, the same day that voters in Arkansas passed a ballot initiative banning adoption by gays and lesbians.
Lederman’s decision came in the case of Frank Martin Gill, a 54-year-old gay man who sued the state for the right to adopt the two foster children he has been raising for more than four years.
Now state officials have to decide whether to appeal the ruling. If the case reaches the state Supreme Court, it could result in a ruling overturning the decades-old ban.
Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of the Family Equality Council, called Lederman’s ruling “a long-overdue recognition of the equal ability of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to raise happy, healthy families.”