Castrataro Comments on Lifting of Gay Adoption Ban

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Florida Broadband News

Gov. Crist Says Fla. Will Not Enforce Gay Adoption Ban

by Michelle Murillo and Alan McBride

MIAMI, FLA. — The state of Florida will cease enforcement of its ban on allowing gay couples to adopt children, effective immediately.

That announcement came from Gov. Charlie Crist on the afternoon that an appeals court upheld a lower court's decision to overturn the ban.

Wednesday, the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami upheld a ruling that overturned the law as unconstitutional. The lower court's ruling had been that the law didn't pass constitutional muster and had no rational basis.

Despite the declaration from Crist that Florida will no longer enforce this ban, it will still take a ruling from the state's Supreme Court to strike down the law.

Florida remains the only state in the nation with so strict a law, and it has been in place for an estimated 33 years.

The entire case is being closely watched by the legal and gay communities.

Attorney George Castrataro, of the Law Offices of George Castrataro in Wilton Manors, said earlier that Wednesday morning's ruling is a significant advance for the gay community in Florida and the state as a whole.

"It sends a very strong message to the legislature that while their laws are going to be honored, their laws have to be based on a rational and fair set of facts," Castrataro said.

However, he indicated he also knows this is not the end of this.

"Folks that are opposed to gay adoptions are naturally going to move this case to the Supreme Court and seek further rulings, and ultimately, it could move beyond the Florida Supreme Court, depending on what the outcome is," Castrataro said.

Castrataro said that, ultimately, the best interest of a child can never be simply just determined by some cookie-cutter methodology or approach and that there are going to be gay parents who aren't going to be fit, just as there would be straight parents that wouldn't either.

Instead, he said the task is to determine how to best measure the interests of a child in a way that truly accomplishes that goal.

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This article also appeared in  The Daytona Sun