Florida State Senate Blocks Passage Of Anti-Gay Adoption Bill

Equality Florida reports that the Florida state Senate has blocked attempts to pass anti-gay adoption legislation:

In a stunning turnaround late this afternoon, the Florida Senate blocked efforts to allow Indiana-style discrimination in adoption. In doing so they derailed an effort that originated in the House of Representatives to reintroduce an anti-gay adoption law in Florida.

Former Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Destin, was an eloquent opponent, stating “We don’t need to turn back the social clock in this state to 1977,” the year Florida banned gay and lesbian people from adopting children.

“We applaud Senator Gaetz for rallying his colleagues to stop this disastrous effort to put discrimination back into Florida law.” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida. “Now is not the time for Florida to look back to its ugly past. It is time to secure full equality and chart a fair and inclusive path for our state.”

The bill has one more reading in the state Senate. Having already passed in the state House, it would head to the Governor’s desk if it passes on the next reading.

Slovakia To Hold National Referendum On Same-Sex Marriage

Earlier this year in June, Slovakia passed a anti-gay constitutional ban on same-sex marriage by a vote of 102-18.

Now, it appears the country’s lawmakers aren’t done making their LGBT citizens second class. Now, the legislators plan a national voter referendum on marriage equality and more on February 7, 2015.

Via the AP:

President Andrej Kiska’s move comes after the Alliance for Family conservative group gathered about 400,000 signatures supporting the vote.

Slovaks will be asked whether they agree that a marriage can be called only a union between a man and a woman, same-sex partners can’t adopt children, and that children wouldn’t have to attend school classes on sex education if their parents don’t agree with them.

Slovakia’s constitutional court ruled last month at Kiska’s request that such a referendum doesn’t violate the constitution, but rejected a question on registered partnership as part of the vote. Kiska said he still has doubts about the referendum, but respected the ruling.

Slovakia, a young country of only 21 years, has held seven similar voter referenda. For passage, more than 50% of the nations voter have to cast a vote. In 21 years, it has only happened once – when the country voted to join the European Union. The others failed to become legal due to low voter turnout.

So, it’s possible this anti-gay move may be more anti-LGBT political theater than reality.

We shall see come February.

CBS Christmas Special To Feature Gay Couple For First Time

CBS’ annual Christmas special – Home For The Holidayswill feature a gay couple and their family for the first time:

Home for the Holidays aims to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for more than 400,000 children in foster care. This year’s telecast, set for Dec. 19, will highlight the story of Rich Valenza, who adopted a 5-year-old and 4-year-old brother and sister shortly before he met his now-partner Jared Gee.

The special produced in association with the Children’s Action Network features adoptions stories mixed with musical performances. This year’s lineup includes Jennifer Hudson, Train, Earth Wind & Fire, Rixton and Katharine McPhee.

This year marks the 16th edition of the popular holiday special.

Italy: Court approves step-child adoption by same-sex couple

A terrific step forward for Italy as an Italian court approves the step-child adoption of a girl by the female partner of her biological mother.

From Gay Star News:

For the first time in Italian history, a court has granted permission for the adoption of a child living with a gay couple. The child is the biological daughter of one of the women, and her partner has been allowed to legally become her co-parent through adoption.

The couple have been living together in Rome since 2003, and the decision was taken by the city’s Juvenile Court. It’s believed that the child was conceived through IVF treatment abroad – where the couple also underwent a marriage ceremony.

In a statement, the women told Italy’s Republica newspaper that they were, ‘happy, almost incredulous’, with the decision.

‘This is a victory for children and all those children who are in the same situation of our child.’

Marriage equality passes in Luxembourg

By a vote of 56-4, the Luxembourg legislature passed marriage equality and adoption rights for same-sex couples.

The European country is also the only country to have an openly gay Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

The new law goes into effect January 1, 2015.

Adoption laws for same-sex couples across the US

There are 400,000 young people in foster care waiting for a home.

Millions of LGBT people are willing to become adoptive parents if they could – but many states make it very difficult for them to adopt. 

Help knock down these barriers and ensure every child has a chance to find a home.

Become an Ally For Adoption – click here for more info.

Below is a chart that lists the current laws allowing or barring same-sex couples access to adoption.

Click to enlarge graphic

Congress: Gay adoption bill to be reintroduced

JoeMyGod points up that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) plans to reintroduce the Every Child Deserves A Family Act, which would attempt to override state-level bans on gay adoptions by restricting federal funding “for states employing discriminatory practices in adoption and foster care placements based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the foster youth involved.”

From the Huffington Post:

Seven states currently ban a person in a same-sex couple from adopting his or her partner’s children, and gay couples face legal restrictions when petitioning for joint adoption in five states. In all, according to the Family Equality Council, LGBT people face barriers to adopting or fostering children in 39 states.

In the past, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and former Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) have taken the lead on the legislation. But now that Stark is no longer in Congress, the bill has the backing of a bipartisan duo in the House: Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.). Gillibrand is still the lead sponsor in the Senate.

Newt Gingrich lies about gay adoption

Serial adulterer Newt Gingrich tried to pass off the usual lie about gay adoption’s “effect” on the Catholic Church on Meet The Press yesterday:

“But what I’m struck with is the one-sidedness of the desire for rights,” he added. “There are no rights for Catholics to have adoption services in Massachusetts. They’re outlawed. There are no rights in DC for Catholics to have adoption service. They’re outlawed.” “This passing reference to religion, we sort of respect religion — sure, as long as you don’t practice it,” Gingrich continued, saying we should go beyond the question of “Are you able to be gay in America?” and ask what it means. Whether that means, for example, eliminating “any institution which does not automatically accept that, and therefore, you’re now going to have a secular state, say, to a wide range of religious groups.”

Also on the panel was Joy-Ann Reid, who rightfully corrected Gingrich noting that Catholic Charities voluntarily withdrew their services rather than comply with anti-discrimination laws. Gay rights have not “eliminated” any religious group. If a group doesn’t wish to follow the law, then they are making their own choice.