Mississippi loses same-sex adoption case


Attorney Robbie Kaplan

The same day an LGBT discrimination bill worked its way through the Mississippi legislature, same-sex couples won an adoption lawsuit in the case.

Attorney Robbie Kaplan, best known as Edie Windsor’s attorney in the case that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, announced via twitter, “We just won Mississippi adoption case! So proud of our brave clients!”

Mississippi’s gay adoption ban was declared unconstitutional.

“And while Plaintiffs must undergo the adoption process to fully remedy their injuries, the current law imposes an unconstitutional impediment that has caused stigmatic and more practical injuries,” the U.S. District Court judge wrote in his decision.

He called the state’s defense of its statute “tepid.”

One of the plaintiffs is Donna Phillips, a woman who serves in the National Guard. She has a daughter with only her name on the birth certificate. She worries her wife, Janet Smith, wouldn’t be recognized as their daughter’s parent if something happened to Phillips or to their daughter while Phillips was deployed with the Guard. Allowing Smith to adopt, which is prevented by Mississippi law, would alleviate those concerns.

In the last line of the decision, the state is prevented from enforcing the legal code stopping the adoption.

—  David Taffet

What’s Brewing: Lady Gaga at the Round-Up last night; Joel Burns’ brother killed in wreck

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. What a treat for the little monsters in Dallas. Lady Gaga stopped by the Round-Up Saloon again last night in advance of her show tonight at the American Airlines Center, and this time she performed a song accompanied by backup dancers. Above is a still from video shot by our Brent Paxton. More coming later.

UPDATE: We’ve posted more photos and video here.

2. What a whirlwind year it’s been for openly gay Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns, who gained international attention when he delivered his “It Gets Better” speech at a council meeting in October. On Saturday, Burns’ younger brother — 27-year-old Cody Burns of Stephenville — was killed when he lost control of his pickup on a dirt road in Erath County. In a post on Facebook, Joel Burns said Cody “was one of the finest human beings I’ve ever known. I and my family will miss him every day.”

3. State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, squared off with anti-gay Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, on the issue of same-sex adoption on KXAN’s Session ’11 on Sunday. Anchia has filed a bill that would allow same-sex parents to put both of their names on an adopted child’s birth certificate. Watch video of the exchange below.

Session ’11: Reps. Berman and Anchia: kxan.com

—  John Wright