Florida’s ban on gays adopting children was brought to a halt in September after Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeals upheld a Miami judge’s ruling against the prohibition.
However, Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon is pushing Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature to work towards re-enacting the ban.
That might not be difficult since Scott feels that “children should be adopted by a man and wife,” as he said to Florida Baptist Witness, a Baptist newspaper, in July. Yet Scott, who vocally opposed lifting the ban in September, has yet to openly declare his current stance on the issue.
Media reports have buzzed with suspicions of Scott’s intentions, particularly calling into question his appointment of David Wilkins, a former trustee for the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes – a children’s shelter that requires all potential adopters to be “a professing Christian, be active in a local Christian church and follow a lifestyle that is consistent with the Christian faith,” according to its website – to be the next secretary of the Department of Children and Families earlier this month.
With such well-publicized speculation on Scott’s intentions, the new governor owes it to his constituents to develop a firm stance on the issue. Until he does, he should consider the constitutionality of the ban and leave moral and theological arguments out of the dialogue.
As reflected by the court’s opinion and numerous academic journals, there’s no logical rationality behind the discriminatory policy, only prejudices and religious morality. In fact, the only expert the state could produce to argue against ending the ban was a pseudo-scientist who had his testimony removed for being illogical and baseless.
Scott must not allow the personal beliefs of a select group to threaten Florida’s equality and resurrect a ban that was the only one of it’s kind in the entire U.S., according to the Miami Herald.
The attempted implementation of religious beliefs and personal prejudice is troubling, not only because the U.S. is supposed to be a secular democracy protecting the rights of all religious beliefs or lack thereof, but also because attempts to establish a theocratic-type rule can go against contemporary attitudes towards injustices.
While Scott may question the morality of gay adoptions, he should not allow his religious beliefs to interfere with the rights of the people he was elected to represent.