Last week an appeals court struck down a 33-year-old law in Florida that had banned gay people from adopting children.
That means now when agencies are evaluating prospective parents, they will be looking at things like can they provide a good home and will they provide love and stability for a child. You know, the things that matter.
They won't, however, be able to ask if adoptive parents are gay or straight. You know, something that has nothing to do with a person's ability to be a parent.
The fact that this ban was in place for so long before this ruling is sad -- sad for the people who were denied parenthood because of this law, and sad that in our nation people are still being discriminated against based on their sexual orientation.
But mostly it's sad to think of all the children who missed out on wonderful, loving homes.
Across the country there are thousands of children in foster care, waiting to be adopted -- 19,000 in Florida alone. How can anyone really think they would be better off there than in the home of someone who wants them as their own?
Even if you subscribe to the mindset that sex should be only between a man and a woman, wouldn't you be able to set that aside when it comes to the sake of children? Can't you disagree with the parents' choice in one area, but support a better life for children?
What was really messed up in Florida is that gay people were allowed to be foster parents and guardians; they just couldn't adopt.
"It is difficult to see any rational basis in utilizing homosexual persons as foster parents or guardians on a temporary or permanent basis, while imposing a blanket prohibition on those same persons," wrote Judge Gerald Cope for the panel. "All other persons are eligible to be considered case-by-case to be adoptive parents."
There are many controversial issues in which I sit smack on the middle of the fence because I can clearly see both sides of the issue. But this is one in which the right thing to do is so clear I have a hard time believing another side even exists.
The only reasons I can see people not wanting to let gay people adopt would be fear and ignorance ... and no good decisions ever come about from those.
Do you support gay people's right to adopt children? Why or why not?
Image via ShaZ Ni *Fotogurafiku/Flickr