Friday, January 14, 2005

Florida Adoption Ban (1/14/05)

On Monday January 10, 2005 the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) refused to hear an appeal to the Florida ban on gay adoptions. The law was enacted in 1977 at the height of Anita Bryant's anti-homosexual campaign. The law states: "No person eligible to adopt under this statute may adopt if that person is a homosexual." The law's sponsor, Florida Senator Curtis Peterson stated that the law was enacted to send a clear message to homosexuals that said: "we're really tired of you. We wish you'd go back into the closet."

Those who supported and continue to support this law are contending that a state has the right to promote "traditional families", and those of us who aren't using buzz words are, rightfully, saying the law is excluding potential parents for thousands of children who are trapped within the foster care system. One cannot help but draw the conclusion that the Justices are either cowards, bigots or both.

In refusing to hear this appeal they've placed their stamp of approval on discrimination based on sexual orientation. Even worse, they've simultaneously condemned thousands of children to never know stable and loving parents. Even Mississippi, hardly what anyone would call the bastion of tolerance, allows single homosexuals to adopt children.

However, this does nothing to mention the glaringly obvious hypocrisy of the Florida law. Homosexuals, while not allowed to adopt, are allowed to become Foster Parents. So apparently we're good enough to watch over the children until the state can either find them a home or they become legal adults, all the while operating for all intents and purposes as their parents, but aren't good enough to sign a piece of paper that allows the children to call us legally "Daddy" or "Mommy". God forbid little Johnny from legally having the same two Daddies he's known since he was born because his mother was a drug addict. Or Amanda from having two Mommies she's known since she was 3 because her Father was molesting her. No, no, we can't have good homosexual parents in Florida, at least not legally, because it would look like we are giving them the stamp of approval to continue with their "distasteful and sinful lifestyle."

And really, we must admit that this is what it is all about. The far right fringe of America, or as I call them the "American Taliban", really don't care about the children. They'd rather see them languish in the system from birth to adulthood rather than see them in a stable and loving environment where they are safe and their basic needs are met. It's all about punishing us, the homosexuals, even if it is at the expense of innocent children who are already being placed in our care.

The Justices of the Supreme Court should be impeached. They took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Their fear, which is without a doubt well founded, of being called "Activist Judges" should hold no bearing over anything. They aren't there to be popular, nor are they there to make friends. This issue may be a touchy issue for many, and they surely would have received a wave of heated criticism, but as my mother always told me, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

They have a clearly defined duty, they are supposed to be impartial, placing their personal thoughts and feelings aside, avoiding the prejudism fabricated and created by a extremist sect of the American Public. Part of their job is also to ensure that the Government does not abuse its authority over the people, and to protect those in the minority from the populist inclinations of the legislature which is dictated by the easily manipulated opinions of the general public.

The measure of any civilization is the care and concern for the weak and helpless, and especially the children who are both. The dismissing of this appeal leaves homosexuals vulnerable to the whims of a populist legislature, and denies countless children the divine right to have a loving home where they will be protected and have their basic needs fulfilled.

Despite what the far right and the SCOTUS may think of the homosexual population personally, the children should come first. The far right should no longer be in command of any authority, least of all any that deals with the subject of "morality." Even cannibalistic salamanders, a lower form of life, spare their young; something which, unfortunately, cannot be said for the Justices, who were more than willing to feed them to a sect of rabid wolves. Thus, they've given their stamp of approval to the extremist right wing of America, which will allow them to continue sacrificing innocent young children on their bloody altar of bigotry and hate.


At January 15, 2005 at 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the Texas sodomy law that was not too long ago struck down by the Supreme Court? A majority of our justices are right-wing--they probably had to bite down on something really hard to go against that law, but they did it anyway.

Their refusal to hear the Florida case may simply be because they feel it's outside of their jurisdiction. And they might be right--our Supreme Court's jurisdiction is sadly narrow, compared to the Executive and Legislative branches of our government.

The law is obviously wrong, and -should- get struck down, but it needs to be struck down by the Florida Supreme Court because it is a Florida law. Only after the Florida Supreme Court has ruled on it could SCOTUS have the authority to step in, at least as I understand it. It's hard to know, though, because SCOTUS doesn't give reasoning behind refusing to hear cases.

Still, it was a year and a half ago that the same Supreme Court that we have right now ruled it unconstitutional to outlaw gay sex. I wouldn't be so quick to throw our Justices to the wolves, either.


At January 15, 2005 at 7:59 PM, Blogger Thomas said...

I'm not quite ready to throw the Justices to the wolves just yet, in fact I'd like to see them all stick around for at least another four years to avoid allowing the President to nominate any new ones. (Which, in all likelihood, means that the SCOTUS will move even further to the right.)

Although, in truth it shouldn't matter if a Judge is personally on the right or the left. The law doesn't require you to take a political litmus test. It does, however, require you to be non-biased and objective. That means placing your personal feelings and political views aside. The law, for the most part, tries to be black and white. Right and wrong. I can't see how a law so obviously rooted in discrimination can be viewed as anything but wrong.

After all, if the opponents argument stands and the best family for children are heterosexual married couples, then what about single people? Should they not also be barred from adopting?

You are correct, though, in your statements that it should (technically speaking and to the best of my understanding) go through the Florida Supreme Court first. However, the SCOTUS should have ruled on it for a couple of reasons. It would have given them a chance to elaborate on both Lawrence v. Texas and Rorner v. Evans.

To the best of my understanding (keep in mind I'm no Constitutional Scholar, not a lawyer, a judge or even a law student -- I only know what I've read), the SCOTUS has something called "Rational basis" review, it is the lowest constitutional standard of review the Supreme Court applies and asks only that a challenged law have a rational basis.

I think it's obvious that this law, the Florida Gay Adoption Ban, has a clearly defined rational basis and I have little doubt in my mind had the SCOTUS taken this case into their court they would have had to rule against Florida.

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