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A waiting game. (Adoption).

Now that the case against Florida's ban on adoption by gays has reached the 11th circuit U.S. court of appeals, all there is left to do is wait. For the U.S. Supreme Court, that is. The appellate decision most likely won't be made until after the nation's top court decides Lawrence v. Texas, which challenges Texas's antigay sodomy law. Both cases contest antigay bias, but each addresses discrimination under different circumstances.

At stake is the legal theory behind the court rulings. "If the Supreme Court bases the Lawrence decision on equal protection rights, then it could possibly affect other homosexual discrimination cases," an American Civil Liberties Union spokesman explained.

ACLU attorney Matt Coles who argued the Florida case in Atlanta on March 4, pointedly drew attention to the 3,400 foster children awaiting adoption in the state. Although gay people can serve as foster parents, a 1977 state law prohibits them from adopting.

Douglas Houghton, a foster father to 11-year-old Oscar and a plaintiff in the case, said he's willing to stick it out for the long haul. "If this case ends up in the Supreme Court, I'll be there, ready to fight," he said.

The Supreme Court probably won't announce a decision in Lawrence until June.
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Title Annotation:adoption by gays in Florida
Author:Tkaczyk, Christopher
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Apr 15, 2003
Words:209
Previous Article:Marriage--who decides? (Court).
Next Article:Minn. Kampf. (Politics).
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