April 1, 2016
It's about time!
Adoption for same-sex couples is now legal in all 50 states after a federal judge struck down Mississippi's ban on same-sex adoption late Thursday.
The one-sentence Mississippi law—"Adoption by couples of the same gender is prohibited"—went into effect back in 2000, and made the state the only U.S. holdout on the issue. Overturning it, District Court Judge Daniel P. Jordan III said the ban violated the Constitution's equal protection clause.
"It seems highly unlikely that the same court that held a state cannot ban gay marriage because it would deny benefits, expressly including the right to adopt, would then conclude that married gay couples can be denied that very same benefit," Jordan wrote.
A lawsuit challenging the law was filed last by four same-sex couples, who were joined by two advocacy groups, the Campaign for Southern Equality and the Family Equality Council.
"I'm a happy camper," the plaintiffs' lead attorney, Roberta Kaplan, told Mississippi Today. "Our clients are beyond happy campers.... Two sets of our clients have waited many (almost 9 and 16) years to become legal parents to the children they have loved and cared for since birth. We hope that it should finally be clear that discrimination against gay people simply because they are gay violates the Constitution in all 50 states, including Mississippi."
Added The Human Rights Campaign's Mississippi state director Rob Hill: "This welcome decision affirms that qualified same-sex couples in Mississippi seeking to become adoptive or foster parents are entitled to equal treatment under the law, and commits to the well-being of children in our state who need loving homes."
In other words, family is family is family. A huge reason for celebration today in Mississippi's LGBT community.