Startribune.com – A judge ruled on Tuesday that a Florida law blocking gay people from adopting children is unconstitutional, declaring that there was no reason for sexual orientation to prohibit anyone from adopting.

Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman said the 31-year-old law violates equal protection rights for the children and their prospective gay parents, rejecting the state’s arguments that there is “a supposed dark cloud hovering over homes of homosexuals.”

She noted that gay people are allowed to be foster parents in Florida. “There is no rational basis to prohibit gay parents from adopting,” she ruled.

Florida is the only state with an outright ban on gay adoption. Arkansas voters last month approved a measure similar to a law in Utah that bans any unmarried straight or gay couples from adopting children. Mississippi bans gay couples, but not single gays, from adopting.

Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union, who represent Gill, said the case was the first in the nation in which numerous experts in child psychology, social work and other fields testified that there is no science to justify a gay adoption ban. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association all support permitting same-sex couples to adopt.

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