This is one of the best juxtapositions of backwards Florida laws I have seen.
Glenna Milberg's blog, Milberg's Musings, recently had a great entry called "Who's Your Daddy", which looked at two different court cases happening at the same time in South Florida. One was a child abuse case against a man named Loscar Rodriguez, a father who "disciplined" his kid so much that they couldn't sit down because of the welts and bruises. The other was the case of Frank Gil, the gay man who is fighting to adopt two boys he fostered, which might just overturn Florida's ridiculous ban on gays adopting.
The outcomes of the two cases? The abuse case was dismissed in 12 minutes. The adoption case will take months, with more appeals sure to come. Milbank's conclusion is dead on:
Florida law bans gay people from adopting children. But it protects the right to beat a child with an object until he/she is black and blue.
Milbank looks into why the abuse case was dismissed:
Back in criminal court, prosecutors cited case law that helped them decide the belt-wielding, lash-giving Rodriguez is not a child abuser under the law. Turns out, in cases past, Florida appellate judges have opined "even significant bruises or welts from paddling" is discipline, not abuse; that "a strike on the face, a split lip, forced feeding" is - you guessed it - discipline, not abuse. Exactly what does a child learn from that? How and when to dole out the same violence when he/she grows up?
I guess being beaten to the point of bruising is "in the best interest of the child" according to Florida law. But being in a loving stable home with gay parents? You guessed it, unconstitutional:
He [Gill] and his partner had taken in the two young brothers who had known no other healthy family, and were eventually called exemplary fathers and family, but the state is appealing the adoption because Gill is gay.
You can't lay out the discrimination in more stark terms.