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National News
National News
by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Florida's ban on Gay adoption struck down
A Florida circuit court in Miami struck down a state law that barred Lesbians and Gay men from adopting November 25.

The court granted adoptions to a Gay man, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, who has been raising two foster children since 2004.

"Our family just got a lot more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving," said Martin Gill, a North Miami resident who is raising two brothers, ages 4 and 8, with his partner. "We are extremely relieved that the court has recognized that it is wrong to deny our boys the legal protections and security that only come with adoption."

The court ruled that the ban violated the equal-protection guarantees of the state constitution because it irrationally singled out Gay people and their children for different treatment.

The court also found that the ban denied children the right to permanency provided by federal and state law under the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997.

"Reports and studies find that there are no differences in the parenting of homosexuals or the adjustment of their children," the court said. "These conclusions have been accepted, adopted and ratified by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatry Association, the American Pediatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Child Welfare League of America and the National Association of Social Workers. ... [B]ased on the robust nature of the evidence available in the field, this Court is satisfied that the issue is so far beyond dispute that it would be irrational to hold otherwise; the best interests of children are not preserved by prohibiting homosexual adoption."

The Florida law barring Gays and Lesbians from adopting was the most expansive anti-Gay parenting law in the country. It was passed in 1977 in response to an anti-Gay crusade led by former Miss America and orange-juice spokeswoman Anita Bryant.



Coordinators of huge November 15 protests plan new actions
Several new activities are being planned by JoinTheImpact, the grassroots organizers who conceptualized and coordinated the huge November 15 protests against California's Proposition 8.

Those protests took place in some 300 cities in all 50 states.

The weekend of Dec. 5, JoinTheImpact is urging people to go see the new movie Milk, about the legendary late Gay activist and politician Harvey Milk. The group wants to make Milk one of the top-three grossing movies of the weekend.

December 10 has been dubbed "Day Without a Gay." Among other things, JoinTheImpact is urging all GLBT people not to spend any money on December 10.

December 20 will see candlelight vigils around the nation in malls or other shopping areas, the group says. Participants are urged to wear shirts that say "2nd Class Citizen."

On January 10, JoinTheImpact is calling for marches on the 50 state capitols as a "National Protest Against DOMA," the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The group says it wants to remind President-elect Barack Obama that he has promised to repeal DOMA.

Finally, on February 12, JoinTheImpact is calling for nationwide sit-ins at marriage-license bureaus.

"If you are denied a license, don't leave," the group says. "Sit with your community, your allies, and friends. Let's show this country just how many U.S. citizens are denied equal protections under the law."

JoinTheImpact says these upcoming activities are "just the beginning."

"Change will not come if we sit back and do nothing," the group says. "Change comes through visibility, conversation, demonstration and action."

For more information, see jointheimpact.com. For details on local activities, visit jointheimpact.wetpaint.com.



Reports: No quick action against DADT
President-elect Barack Obama may not move quickly to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on open Gays, according to published reports.

A November 24 report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said: "Very quietly, the Obama team has let it be known that the new administration will not immediately reassess the U.S. military's policy of 'don't ask, don't tell.' ... Raising the topic of Gays in the military was considered by many to be the second of two out-of-the-box decisions that ended badly for a newly elected President Bill Clinton (in 1993)."

The National Journal and The Washington Times said Obama might wait until 2010 to tackle the ban.

However, the Gay newspaper Washington Blade reported November 25 that an unnamed Obama spokesperson said the mainstream-media reports were premature.

"An Obama transition team spokesperson, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the decision on how to approach repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' ... would be made after more experts have joined the Obama administration," the paper said.

"These decisions will not be made before the full national security team is in place," the Blade quoted the spokesperson as saying.

A July poll by The Washington Post and ABC News found that 75 percent of Americans said "yes" when asked, "Do you think that homosexuals who do publicly disclose their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve in the military or not?"

The poll found that even Republicans (64 percent) and white evangelical Christians (57 percent) supported scrapping the ban.

The random survey of 1,119 American adults had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

With assistance from Bill Kelley
pictures: Prop 8 protests
 

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