Federal judge smacks down Mississippi’s ban on gay adoption

This past Thursday, a federal judge ruled that Mississippi’s ban on same-sex couples being able to adopt is unconstitutional, making adoption by gay couples legal in all 50 states.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan issued a preliminary injunction against the ban after same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide last summer. The injunction blocks Mississippi’s 16-year-old anti-gay adoption law.

Jordan wrote that The Supreme Court ruling, “foreclosed litigation over laws interfering with the right to marry and rights and responsibilities intertwined with marriage… It also 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.”

According to the Huffington Post, Mississippi’s anti-adoption law was challenged last year by four same-sex couples joined by the Campaign for Southern Equality and the Family Equality Council.

“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,” Robert Kaplan, lead attorney for the plaintiffs said in a statement. “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.”

“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,” Rob Hill, The Human Rights Campaign’s Mississippi state director, said in a statement. “Judge Jordan has repudiated reprehensible efforts by our elected leaders to deny legal rights to our families. They are on the wrong side of history, and today’s decision confirms, yet again, that they are also on the wrong side of the law.”

The anti-adoption law which states, “Adoption by couples of the same gender is prohibited,” was adopted in 2000. Mississippi remained the last state to uphold such a law until now.

Featured image: Timothy Gardner (Flickr)

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