This afternoon, two Florida lawmakers introduced legislation to overturn the state’s ban on gay adoptions, something the legislature hasn’t debated in the law’s 33-year history. Rep. Scott Randolph’s measure, which amended a bill about gun ownership and adoptions, would have prevented “adoption agencies from inquiring about a person’s sexual orientation as a requisite for adoption.” Randolph was forced to withdraw his amendment after the Speaker ruled that it was not germane to the bill. Sen. Charlie Justice withdrew a similar bill in the Senate. “This amendment points out that government should not ask irrelevant questions in the adoption process which tell us nothing about a person’s ability to provide a permanent and loving home. Rather, it’s lawful and responsible gun ownership or a person’s sexual orientation,” Randolph announced on the House floor. He also explained how lifting the ban would benefit children:
RANDOLPH: Three thousand children are in need of adoption and are waiting for us to do the right thing. But Florida’s current adoption ban does not allow gay and lesbians to adopt in this state. In an era of very tight budgets, this cost of inaction on this issue is $2.5 million a year. It’s time to let family judges and child welfare advocates do their job by making the best standard for each child to be the only standard for deciding adoption cases. The legislature has the power to stop that right now today.
Florida, which enacted its ban in 1977 — two years before the first reported case of an adoption by an openly gay person anywhere in the country — is the only state to explicitly prohibit gays and lesbians from adopting children. The Wonk Room has more.