As oral arguments begin in a Florida appeals court about the constitutionality of a law banning gay people from adopting, deputy solicitor general Timothy Osterhaus defended the rule in the most haphazard of ways: by claiming gay families are inherently less stable than straight ones. This is funny, because Florida has more divorces among heterosexual married couples than any other state in the country.
But Osterhaus maintains gays as a group can be excluded based on higher rates of domestic violence, psychiatric disorders and breakups.
He argued the law is valid under a rational basis legal test, which [Miami-Dade Judge Cindy Lederman in the 2006 case] rejected.
All of the problems cited by DCF are screened for in the adoption process, said Elliot Scherker, a Greenberg Traurig shareholder in Miami who represents the children, and American Civil Liberties Union attorney Leslie Cooper of New York. They noted the state makes daily determinations on fit parents.
“There’s no reason for group bias,” Scherker said.
We’re sorry, but did Mr. Osterhaus actually make that claim with a straight face? Because Florida consistently has one of the highest divorce rates in the country; in 1998 it was tops, with over 80,000 splits. In 2002, it was No. 8 with a 5.4 percent divorce rate, which meant people were getting divorced at more than half the rate they were getting married.
And this is representative of a institution and demographic that’s worthy of adopting children?