''Disqualifying every gay Floridian from raising a family, enjoying grandchildren or carrying on the family name, based on nothing more than lawful sexual conduct, while assuring child abusers, terrorists, drug dealers, rapists and murderers at least individualized consideration, `` Audlin wrote, was so ``disproportionately severe'' that it violates the state and U.S. Constitutions.
In her ruling, Lederman said children taken into state care have a ''fundamental'' right to be raised in a permanent adoptive home if they cannot be reunited with birth parents. Children whose foster parents are gay, she said, can be deprived of that right under the current law.
''The challenged statute, in precluding otherwise qualified homosexuals from adopting available children, does not promote the interests of children and, in effect, causes harm to the children it is meant to protect,'' Lederman wrote.
The judge added: ``There is no question the blanket exclusion of gay applicants defeats Florida's goal of providing [foster] children a permanent family through adoption.''
// Florida Judge experiences rare burst of sanity. /
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