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Florida won't appeal ruling stopping adoption ban by gay men, lesbians

From John Couwels, CNN
Licensed foster parent and Florida resident Frank Martin Gill sued for the right to adopt two foster children under his care.
Licensed foster parent and Florida resident Frank Martin Gill sued for the right to adopt two foster children under his care.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Florida Department of Children and Families announces decision Tuesday night
  • Spokesman: "Depth, clarity and and unanimity" of ruling indicates little chance of change
  • With Florida's move, no states ban gay men and lesbians from adopting
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(CNN) -- Florida won't be appealing a court ruling that found the state's ban on adoptions by gay men and lesbians unconstitutional.

The Florida Department of Children and Families announced Tuesday evening that the state agency would not appeal the September decision by the 3rd District Court of Appeals.

"We had weighed an appeal to the Florida Supreme Court to achieve an ultimate certainty and finality for all parties," said Joe Follick, the department's communications director.

"But the depth, clarity and unanimity of the DCA opinion -- and that of Miami-Dade Judge Cindy Lederman's original circuit court decision -- has made it evident that an appeal would have a less than limited chance of a different outcome."

The appeals court opinion lifted a three-decade ban making adoption possible for gay men and lesbians in Florida statewide.

Florida was the only remaining state to prohibit gay adoption.

The state agency said they have removed from adoption forms the question about an applicant's sexual orientation.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist ordered the department to stop enforcing the law after Lederman's ruling.

Licensed foster parent Frank Martin Gill, who wanted to adopt two boys who had been placed in his care after the Department of Children and Families removed them from their home for neglect, sued to have the ban overturned.

More on the lawsuit

With the department's decision not to appeal, Gill has become the first openly gay person to adopt a child in Florida in more than 30 years, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

 
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