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Florida Bar Rejects Homosexual Adoption Lobby. (Good News Update, Many excuses for doing right4kids)
Florida Bar News ^ | December 2004 | Gary Blankenship Senior Editor

Posted on 12/30/2004 5:19:32 PM PST by longtermmemmory

Although no one defended the law, the Bar Board of Governors has said three sections cannot lobby to repeal a state law banning homosexuals from adopting because it is too divisive among Bar members.

The board voted 31-13 at its December 10 meeting in Naples to accept the recommendation of the Legislative Committee and deny the request of the Family Law, Equal Opportunities Law, and Public Interest Law sections to seek to change the law. The three sections wanted to substitute a best-interest-of-the-child standard for the gay adoption ban.

The board devoted almost two hours of debate to the issue.

“No matter how you feel about this, pro or con, some things are obvious,” said board member Harold Melville. “This is a highly emotional issue. It’s a deeply philosophical issue and we are dealing with a [Bar] rule. That rule says if the issue carries the potential for deep philosophical or emotional division among a substantial segment of the membership, the section cannot be allowed to lobby for it.

“The divisiveness [of the issue] is not a potential divisiveness; there is in fact a deep emotional and philosophical division among the members of the Bar. . . . We’re not talking about whether we think this is a good law or a bad law. We’re looking at our rules, and our rules say where there is the potential for deep division, the section must be prohibited from lobbying on it.”

Board member Steve Chaykin disagreed. “This is as bigoted and repugnant a law as there is,” he said, adding if the term homosexual was replaced in the law with any ethnic, gender, or religious group there would be no question that the sections would be allowed to act. The issue, he said, is fair and equal access to the courts.

“I am told that the argument [against the sections] is that the clause dealing with deep philosophical and emotional differences . . . is designed to protect the Bar from a structural integrity standpoint and to protect the Bar from its enemies,” Chaykin said. “But in the process, if we undermine the core values of this organization, . . . then what are we protecting other than a simple shell of what we believe is a core value of this organization? . . . I do not want this organization to simply stand by and say nothing.”

He added that if it were a Bar position, he would agree taking action using mandatory Bar dues would be improper. But he said the voluntary sections, using their own money and not Bar money, should be able to act.

Evan Marks, chair of the Family Law Section, and board member Nancy Gregoire, liaison to the section, presented the three sections’ arguments to the board as they had the day before to the Legislative Committee.

“What I’m bringing to you is not a request to endorse homosexual adoption,” Marks said. “We’re asking for you to allow us . . . to lobby against a discriminatory law that says if you are a homosexual you cannot go into court and ask to adopt.”

The state already pays homosexuals to be foster parents, and Florida is the only state with an outright prohibition against gay adoptions, he said.

He and Gregoire said only about 50 letters had been received against the sections’ proposed action, and that wasn’t enough to constitute a substantial segment of the Bar to meet the divisive standard. Gregoire said the opposition fell into two categories: those who think the issue is divisive and those who have a moral opposition to gay adoptions.

“This is a legal issue, and the reason we have the right to address it is the right of children to have access to the courts,” she said. “Why does not that child have a right to go to a judge and say, ‘You, the judge, decide if this is in my best interest.’?”

Gregoire also argued those who have opposed the sections for moral reasons have in fact forced the Bar into a moral position. “Don’t make us muzzled because those few folks want us to be,” she said.

The board heard that the three sections were being supported by the Elder Law Section and by the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. But the Trial Lawyers Section and the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section both discussed the issue and declined to take a stance. And the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors debated the issue and recommended that the three sections be turned down because of the divisiveness.

YLD President Mike Faehner told the board there was no better example of the emotion and divisiveness of the issue than the reaction to the YLD’s review. Although the YLD based its advice on a rigorous and neutral analysis of the law and Bar policies, he was called a Nazi and homophobe by other lawyers who contacted him after the vote.

“I didn’t think this was an emotional debate,” Faehner said. “I was wrong.”

Opponents of the sections said many legislators and even many Bar members do not understand the difference between the Bar as a whole and sections taking a position, and would see the sections as representing the entire Bar. They also said regardless of personal feelings about the law, it was wrong to nullify the Bar’s procedures and rules.

Board member Ervin Gonzalez said he asked hundreds of lawyers about the issue and was overwhelmingly told the Bar should not get involved. He noted the rules might have prevented the Bar 50 years ago from taking a stance on Brown v. Board of Education, but said probably a majority of the board would have individually supported it. Section members can still do that without any board action, he added.

“I’m saying please stand and fight this discriminatory law and do not allow The Florida Bar’s silence on this to be a mandate for you,” Gonzalez said. “Do not ask The Florida Bar to take a position that it cannot take because of our internal rules and bylaws.”

Board members Jesse Diner and David Rothman said they intended to take Gonzalez’ advice and contribute time and money to repeal the law, but added they felt compelled to obey Bar rules.

While the adoption ban is bad, “If we don’t follow the law in changing the law, are we any better?” Rothman asked. “I’m going to vote against their proposal, but I will contribute and go to Tallahassee to argue for the repeal of that law. There will be a time when we can say it’s not divisive.”

“I don’t like the [divisiveness] rule and I abhor that this statute is on the books,” Diner said. “I live in a neighborhood with a large gay population, and I hate that I have to tell them I voted against this. But I don’t have the right to nullify this rule.”

Supporters argued the real issue is not divisiveness but about equal access to the courts which should not be a controversial issue to Bar members. They also questioned whether the Bar can avoid the issue.

Board member Chris Lombardo noted the Bar, in rule 4-8.4, prohibits discrimination by lawyers on a variety of grounds, including sexual orientation. He said that could make a lawyer liable to discipline if he or she went to court to oppose an adoption because a would-be parent is gay.

“We’re already in this fight; we’re already there,” Lombardo said. “A gay person who is married to a straight person and is a parent can divorce and get custody. How do you square that with the ban on gay adoption?

“This law is improper. It’s not a question of morality; it’s a question of what’s right. We do not support discrimination in any form. We need to take a position and get it over.”

Board member Henry Latimer said he’s heard the divisiveness argument used before, as justification for not taking action on gender and racial discrimination issues.

“I take no position on the right to adopt or not to have the right not to adopt, but the right to speak out against it is something that should be inviolate,” he said. “The time is always right to do the right thing. What is morally right takes precedence over something that’s ambiguous. . . . We should have the courage to protect that right and not use the technical definition of not addressing issues because they’re divisive.”

The board vote approved the motion of the Legislative Committee, which had voted unanimously to reject the sections’ requests. But the committee also specified in its motion that the sole reason for the rejection was of the Bar policy prohibiting sections from engaging in legislative activities that have the potential to cause deep emotional and philosophical division among a significant portion of the Bar’s membership.

Under court rulings and Bar rules and policies, the Bar, because of its mandatory membership, is limited in what political positions it can take. Those are generally limited to items related to improving the delivery of legal services and the oversight and regulation of the legal profession.

Sections, which have a voluntary membership, are given a wider latitude in lobbying positions, although they must use only section money and no Bar funds. Sections generally can lobby on any issue as long as it does not conflict with a Bar-wide position, falls within the section’s purview, and does not violate the divisive standard.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: adoption; amendment; board; children; father; federal; florida; gay; heather; homosexual; homosexualadoption; homosexualagenda; law; lawyer; marriage; momies; mother
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I will post the letters the bar had in this months edition below.

I will also post the family law sections defiance of the Bar on their web site.

The really amazing fact is the outright defiance of the board against the MAJORITY of the membership in opposing the bar's involvement on this. The pro-homosexuals are trying to excuse all opposition as just religious right. (one wacko lawyer I spoke to call them taliban christians, typical liberal ignorance)


Giving the Family Law section permission would have involved the Mandatory Bar. Even if no money changed hands it would appear to the public as the mandatory support giving financial support.

I want to get this up so I will post and add on.

1 posted on 12/30/2004 5:19:37 PM PST by longtermmemmory
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To: All

I write in response to a December 1 letter in which the writer objects — on religious grounds — to The Florida Bar taking a position on the issue of whether the ban on homosexual adoption in Florida should be overturned.

In that letter, the writer explains that he terminated his ABA membership because the positions that the ABA takes on “disputed, political, social, economic, military, international, and religious issues . . . is an affront to its members who hold different views,” and that “it is flatly unacceptable” for The Florida Bar to advocate in favor of “contested issues,” implying that he would also choose to resign from the Bar were it not mandatory. He further explains the underpinnings of his objection are his religious convictions and said, “I do not expect — or desire — The Florida Bar to be an advocate or spokesman for the truths of the Christian faith. Neither can I accept that The Florida Bar has any business being an advocate or spokesman for positions that are repugnant to those truths.”

However, contrary to his contentions, that is precisely what he is asking the Bar to do. Specifically, he demands that the Bar take a position of silence because homosexual adoption offends his religious beliefs. In doing so, he is trying to impose his religious beliefs on the Bar and its membership.

I respectfully submit, however, that if The Florida Bar were to abstain from taking positions on every issue over which there were deep religious differences of opinion among its members, then there would be few issues upon which the Bar could take a position. Further, it would be inappropriate, unacceptable, and unconstitutional for the policies of the Bar (or any government branch or agency) to be based upon the personal religious beliefs, disputed or otherwise, of its officers or members. Rather, it is the duty of our government and its agencies to make policy that is in the best interest of the public as a whole, notwithstanding religious doctrine. This necessarily requires a balancing of the interests of those affected by its policies in order to reach the best possible solution for all those affected. For the government to employ artificial barriers, based on disputed religious beliefs, would serve only to impair the fair and impartial fulfillment of that duty.

I respectfully suggest that for the Bar to form its policies on the grounds that they may be an “affront” to others’ religious views would itself be an affront, not just to those who don’t share those views, but also to those who do, yet staunchly do not share the view that the government should base its policies on religious views.

I, and I would hope that vast majority of the members of the Bar, expect that our government, including The Florida Bar, will continue to promulgate its policies in an unbiased, secular manner by balancing the interests of all involved, in order to find the best solutions for all those affected by its decisions, regardless of the personal religious views of its officers and members.

((name removed to avoid giving PR))

The most common argument advanced by proponents of gay adoption is that one result would be a prompt resolution of Florida’s crisis of older children languishing in foster homes. Their never-spoken premise is that gay couples have zero interest in adopting infants.

As the Miami Herald pointed out November 30, a majority of adoptive heterosexual couples prefer babies. For many years great efforts have been made to persuade heterosexual couples to adopt older children. Yet little progress has been made, probably because human nature is that we prefer to bond with infants. This is simply a fact. Why should we expect gay adoptive parents to prefer older children?

Answer: They would not. Advocates of gay adoption surely know this.

If gay adoptions were legal, gay couples would join the already quite large pool of infertile couples eager, but waiting, to adopt babies. All Florida lawyers know heterosexual couples who waited months or even years to adopt infants. All of us know couples who, unable to find Florida babies, traveled to Eastern Europe or Russia. Naturally, gay couples would oppose any efforts by judges or adoption agencies to steer scarce babies to heterosexual, rather than gay, homes.
Conspicuous by its absence is any proposal that gay adoptive parents be restricted to adopting children aged seven and older. No such proposal has ever been made, nor will it be.

Thus, it is evident that the proponents of gay adoption are using a classic “red herring” argument. Gay adoption would not solve the foster care crisis. It would exacerbate the baby-shortage crisis.

But all of this is largely irrelevant to the issue of whether the Bar should support gay adoption. As other lawyers have pointed out, the only fair way is to poll the members and let the chips fall where they may.
((Name Removed to avoid giving PR))


I have followed with great interest the cascade of letters weighing in on gay adoptions. All of the letters take positions, but only recently was a letter published that went to the heart of the problem.

Although my understanding is that the gay adoption resolution came from a voluntary section, The Florida Bar continues to use our compulsory dues to promote its political and social agenda in spite of the opposition of individual members. This pernicious habit undermines our fundamental constitutional right to be free from involuntary servitude. That is, and remains, the fundamental point underlying any use of compulsory Bar dues to promote any agenda.

It is important to remember that what seems like a good idea, when you are the majority imposing your will on the minority, looks very different when you are on the wrong side of the issue.

((name removed to avoid giving PR))
2 posted on 12/30/2004 5:24:34 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: All


Adoption Reform

The Family Law Section of The Florida Bar has joined with the Public Interest Law Section (PILS) of The Florida Bar to seek permission from the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar to lobby the Florida Senate and the Florida House of Representatives reform the adoption process in The State of Florida.

It is the position of PILS that Section 63.024(3) Fla. Stat. (2003) serves no productive purpose in today's society. In fact, the statute servers to block stable, permanent, and loving homes for Florida's foster children.

Compelling statistics and the facts of particular children's cases demonstrative the need to repeal § 63.042(3) Fla. Stat. (2003). For instance, more than 5,000 Florida children await adoption within the Florida foster care system. Of those foster children lucky enough to find adoptive families, approximately 25% are adopted by unmarried individuals. In some areas of the state, the percentage of single adoptive parents is believed to approach 40%. These number belie the logic behind any statute that has the effect of universally eliminating substantial numbers of potential loving, stable and permanent homes on the basis of a criterion that has no bearing on one's ability to parent.

In summary, repeal of the statute increases the potential number of foster and adoptive homes for Florida's foster children, promotes equality and diversity, and in no way disturbs the "best interests" polestar in every adoption.

The supporting documentation, selected published articles and position papers from prominent national organizations is contained below.

3 posted on 12/30/2004 5:33:47 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: longtermmemmory
As time goes by, the vile anti-social behavior of Queers steadily gets worse and worse . . . as this current FReeper article demonstrates!!! Therefore, allow me to repeat my own personal rant one more time:

Oak Hay, so I'm very disturbed and continually puzzled about how a small bunch of contrary to nature freaks can destroy our entire civilization. . . BUT DAMMIT, THEY'RE DOING IT !!!

These unsavory and unclean sub-human creatures delight in ramming their urine exhaust pipes into the rectal relief tubes of young boys (and of each other) !!! They brag and crow loudly about their filthy behavior !!! They demand access to our young and innocent children... so they can commit sodomy and oral sex acts upon them!!! Then they scream and holler...


... when we seek to save our children from their filthy and immoral activities!!! WHY IS THIS ALLOWED TO CONTINUE IN THIS ONCE-FREE REPUBLIC ??? DO WE NOT HAVE THE RIGHT AND MORAL DUTY TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN FROM SLIME LIKE THIS ???


4 posted on 12/30/2004 5:37:33 PM PST by GeekDejure ( LOL = Liberals Obey Lucifer !!!)
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To: DirtyHarryY2K

Ping list request

5 posted on 12/30/2004 5:38:53 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: GeekDejure

Actually if you want to rant please do so at

This is the president's email and she needs to get the family law section in line to change their website.

The Board of Governors said NO and yet that section DEFIES the board.

6 posted on 12/30/2004 5:40:57 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: scripter


7 posted on 12/30/2004 5:42:28 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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Florida news

8 posted on 12/30/2004 5:44:31 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: longtermmemmory; EdReform; backhoe; Yehuda; Clint N. Suhks; saradippity; stage left; Yakboy; ...
Homosexual Agenda Ping.

lj will be gone from FR for a short while. I'm the volunteer until little jeremiah gets back online.

If you want on/off the list let me know.

9 posted on 12/30/2004 6:09:01 PM PST by DirtyHarryY2K (''Go though life with a Bible in one hand and a Newspaper in the other" -- Billy Graham)
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To: DirtyHarryY2K

“...if the term homosexual was replaced in the law with any ethnic, gender, or religious group..."

OMG, do they actually believe that butt pirates and muff pirates, queer is the same as a gender or race or religous group?

10 posted on 12/30/2004 6:20:05 PM PST by Ellesu
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To: Ellesu

yes they do.

These lawyers are totally out of touch with any sense of normalcy or reality.

This is not just politics, this is a religion to them because they believe this is their calling.

The ABA model divorce code even envisions standing for homosexual sex partners to have child visitation rights when a divorcing spouse comes "out". (ie husband comes during divorce and male sex partner will have visitation standing. This is for when the husband dies of aids or something.)

What gets me is the family law section STILL is petitioning to undo the prohibition.

BTW Six (6) states have restriction on homosexuals adopting children. Two (2) have outright prohibitions.

We should expand that after homosexusexual marraige amendments.

11 posted on 12/30/2004 6:24:07 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: longtermmemmory


12 posted on 12/30/2004 6:26:25 PM PST by SweetCaroline (Whenever the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future -REV 20:10)
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To: longtermmemmory
We should expand that after homosexusexual marriage amendments.

And bans on homosexual foster parenting should be enacted as well.

Child molestation (of any variety) should be a Capital crime punishable by death. Especially if the perp is a parent, adopted parent, or foster parent.

13 posted on 12/30/2004 6:35:05 PM PST by DirtyHarryY2K (''Go though life with a Bible in one hand and a Newspaper in the other" -- Billy Graham)
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To: longtermmemmory
My sis is a social worker in Kansas who specializes in adoption.

She is the classic bleeding heart liberal and, politically, we disagree on just about everything and anything.

However, I was stunned to discover that she shared my concern for children either fostered or adopted by gay couples (allowed in Kansas).

She just doesn't believe it is "right" -- for the child or for the institutions that are supposed to be serving the child's best interests. Especially, when there is an ample supply of deserving heterosexual couples.

There might be hope for her yet...

14 posted on 12/30/2004 6:39:21 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: DirtyHarryY2K; All

Florida (statutory prohibition of adoption), Mississippi(statutory prohibition of adoption), Utah, Arkansas, North Dakota, and Oklahoma limit adoption or foster parenting. Four states do this by statue, Arkansas does this by regulation.

Oaklahoma is interesting because it only recognizes a child has ONE mother and ONE father. Heather does not have two momies. (10 Ok. St. Ann. s. 7502-1.4 (2004).)

Utah accomplishes limiting homsexual adoption by not allowing adoption by non-married persons. IOW homosexuals who share quarters for maximizing recreational sex may not adopt. (Utah Code Ann. s. 78-30-1(3) (b) (2004).)

Don't let the MSM fool you, Florida is not alone in limiting homosexuals from children. Most states have some limitation which means that when push comes to shove a normal couple will be given preference to a homsoxexual vying for the same child.

This is why lawyers use private or direct adoption methods to bypass placing children with normal parents.

15 posted on 12/30/2004 6:45:24 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: okie01

Kansans is another Heather only has one mommy state. KS Stat. 59-2113

There is one mother and one father for each child. No "recreational sex partner" adoptions.

This may be the one issue that helps move your sister in the right direction.

16 posted on 12/30/2004 6:48:11 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: All

BTW 27 states either explicitly do not permit a homosexuals sex partner to adopt a child or just have case law which does not permit sex partner adoption.

Homosexual advocates used anti-gender bias law to say a mother and father means just two people not mother and father.

The remaining 23 states are either silent on the issue or have case law which has allowed homosexual sex partner adoptions.

It is really intersting who much of this date is kept out of the MSM.

17 posted on 12/30/2004 6:55:47 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: longtermmemmory
“This is as bigoted and repugnant a law as there is,” he said, adding if the term homosexual was replaced in the law with any ethnic, gender, or religious group there would be no question that the sections would be allowed to act. The issue, he said, is fair and equal access to the courts.

Homosexuals pushing the homosexual agenda deserve nothing fair -they deserve to be eradicated from any public participation and discourse just like any disease harmful to society.

18 posted on 12/30/2004 10:02:37 PM PST by DBeers
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To: longtermmemmory
Homosexual Parenting: Is It Time For Change?
Where Children Have No Voice: The"Right" of Adoption by Homosexual Partners

Dangers of Same-Sex Couples Adopting Children (Part 1)
Dangers of Same-Sex Couples Adopting Children (Part 2)

Children and homosexual adoption
Homosexual adoption

19 posted on 12/30/2004 10:10:59 PM PST by scripter (Tens of thousands have left the homosexual lifestyle)
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To: DBeers

It tickes me off to no end that my dues had to go to debate this.

My dues go to host the family law section and give them a "home".

I want to see how fast the family law section removes their homosexual adoption page now that they are not allowed to lobby the issue.

20 posted on 12/30/2004 11:08:27 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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