Saturday, May 16, 2009

Florida Court Adoption Ruling also a Path to Challenge Marriage

Activist judges' ruling in favor of recognizing out-of-state homosexual adoption may result in overturning the will of voters for Florida's constitutional amendment passed last year, and possibly point toward nullification of the federal Defense of Marriage Act

-- From "Court: Fla. must recognize states' gay adoptions" Associated Press 5/13/09

Florida must recognize gay couples' adoptions that were granted in other states even though its laws bar granting such adoptions, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday.

A trial court erred when it wouldn't recognize a former lesbian couple's adoptions that had been completed when the women lived in Washington state, the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled unanimously. Florida is the only state that prohibits all gays from adopting, but the judges said the U.S. Constitution requires it to give "full faith and credit" to the actions of other states.

While living as a couple in Seattle, Kimberly Ryan and Lara Embry each gave birth to one child. Each then adopted the other's child as the second parent. They moved to Sarasota and then split up, originally agreeing to share custody.

Ryan then became engaged to a man and cut off contact between her biological child and Embry, saying that under her new Christian beliefs she didn't think the relationship was good for the child. Embry sued for custody.

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From "Lesbian mommies, why not wives?" by Drew Zahn © 2009 WorldNetDaily 5/16/09

The appellate court in Florida cited the U.S. Constitution's "Full Faith and Credit Clause" – which requires states to honor public acts, records and court decisions from other states – to rule that despite Florida's ban on same-sex couple adoptions, a Christian resident must share custody of her biological daughter with her former lesbian partner, because the child was legally adopted in a state that permits same-sex couple adoption.

"We have a specific federal Defense of Marriage Act that says the Full Faith and Credit Clause will not apply to same-sex marriage," [Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel] said, "but the question that comes up is, what about something that is significant to the essence of marriage or family, like adoption?

"Florida has a constitutional amendment that says same-sex marriage will not be recognized," Staver continued, "and the question is, does that apply down to adoption? If not, then can [homosexual advocates] avoid a frontal attack on marriage, but still piecemeal the underlying essence of marriage and bring it in through the back door?"

"Once you use the Full Faith and Credit Clause to mandate enforcing adoption, you can then enforce child custody, child support, visitation – you are treated just like a spouse," Staver told WND. "Once you recognize parental rights of a same-sex person or parties, then you have the same kind of spousal recognition you have within the context of marriage."

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