ACLU Launches Special Web Site To Fight Florida's Gay Adoption Ban, Protect Families

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
March 13, 2002 12:00 am

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NEW YORK — Saying that Florida’s gay adoption ban threatens to take a 10-year old boy from the family he’s been with since he was nine weeks old, the ACLU Lesbian & Gay Rights Project this week launched

The site details the story of Steve Lofton, Roger Croteau and their five kids. Florida caseworkers have begun the process of finding another adoptive family for Bert, their 10-year-old, who has never known another family. The family is a plaintiff in the ACLU’s federal lawsuit challenging Florida’s across-the-board ban on gay people adopting children.

The site features a section from talk show host Rosie O’Donnell, sharing her own personal story about how the Florida law directly affects her own family. It also includes detailed information on that ACLU lawsuit and gay parenting restrictions generally. The site features an area where visitors can send messages directly to Kathleen Kearney, Secretary of Florida’s Dept. of Children and Families, and Governor Jeb Bush.

“We urge everyone to visit this web site, learn more about this family and this issue, and write to Florida’s officials to make their voice heard, said Matt Coles, Director of the ACLU Lesbian & Gay Rights Project. “The nation’s leading children’s groups and even a growing number of the legislators who passed this law now say it’s wrong and hurts kids. Now it’s your turn — go to and take action.”

The ACLU filed its federal lawsuit challenging the adoption ban in 1999 – the first time a federal court has been asked whether it’s constitutional to ban gay adoption. Late last summer, a federal judge upheld the law before the case went to trial. In February, the ACLU took the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, where it will be heard later this year.

Florida’s law is by far the toughest ban on gay adoption in the country – prohibiting all gay people from adopting children. The law was passed in 1977, during Antia Bryant’s anti-gay crusade in South Florida. Mississippi ban adoption by same-sex couples, and Utah bans adoption by unmarried couples.

The LetHimStay website can be found at:

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