As the Florida’s legislative session nears its end May 6, there has been no movement toward usurping last fall’s appellate court decision allowing LGBT individuals to adopt children.
So far, so good, right?
Some political observers such as Orlando filmmaker-activist Vicki Nantz say such action as a referendum is more likely in 2012 – a presidential election year.
“They seem to save up the gay-baiting for the big election years,” she wrote to me in an e-mail. “They will need very little lead time because they already have a database of names from Amendment 2 in 2008. That theory is shared by the ACLU.”
The last presidential election brought high turnouts of voters to the polls in Florida where a majority supported Barack Obama and a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage.
Mallory Wells, legislative lobbyist for Equality Florida, confirmed that there has been no move toward a constitutional amendment on the adoption issue during this year’s legislative session, but the group would continue monitoring for any anti-gay legislation. Such an amendment might prevent adoption by anyone who is unmarried or in an unmarried relationship, for example.
“Many legislators from both sides of the aisle are supportive of LGBT adoption, many of them know LGBT parents and know that they are good parents,” she wrote in an e-mail. “I don’t sense that there is an eagerness on either side to bring the issue back up.”
In a state where same-sex marriage is prohibited, the next battle will in the area of second-parent adoptions. Right now, an individual LGBT person can adopt, but if he or she has a partner, that person doesn’t have the same legal parental rights. This is a sham and must be corrected. But in our increasingly ultra-conservative state, such initiatives may not be seen soon.
In Utah, a bill to allow second-parent adoptions failed earlier this year. See story here. And our political climate is not all that different from that state.
And yet why would legislators not want any committed couple to be equal partners in the parenting of children? It seems to me that would be the most pro-family position to have. But, of course, these opponents are stuck in the past with the belief that only two adults of opposite gender can love each other, create families and be good parents. The facts get in the way of such bias. Many loving LGBT families with children are out there and increasingly evident. It’s time the laws caught up with reality.