Press Room

January 01, 2005

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Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Florida Adoption Ban Case

'This ban hurts thousands of Florida children who deserve loving parents,' said HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign expressed disappointment today in the Supreme Court's refusal to hear a case challenging Florida's ban on adoption by gays and lesbians. Lofton v. Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families was seeking to overturn the only state law denying gay and lesbian individuals and couples the right to adopt children.

"This ban hurts thousands of Florida children who deserve loving parents," said HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg. "The Supreme Court's refusal to hear this case marks its refusal to heed the advice of all major child welfare organizations and health care professionals who say that gay parents are no different from other loving parents."

The American Academy of Pediatrics, Child Welfare League of America, the American Medical Association and other leading organizations have issued policy statements in the last several years saying that sexual orientation has nothing to do with someone's ability to be a good parent. A recent ruling in Arkansas overturned the state's ban on foster care by gay parents based largely on the research of such organizations. Florida allows gay parents to serve as foster parents but then denies them the right to adopt these children.

"Loving, caring parents are now being denied the ability to legally protect the children they've been raising in foster care for so long. That's wrong," added Stachelberg. "We laud the American Civil Liberties Union and the families in this case for bringing their stories forward."

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