Commentary: Florida's archaic gay adoptions ban

El Nuevo HeraldFebruary 2, 2010 

This column is not about me. But I readily offer myself as an example.

If you read my column regularly, you probably know my values. If you read me on occasion, you have a vague idea. And if this is your first time, allow me to introduce myself. I am someone who tries to put into practice the most important tenet of the sacred scriptures: loving one's fellow man.

To give meaning to my life, I help others. Whenever possible, I see the positive side of things. I have never had a run-in with the law. I pay my taxes. I have never even gotten a traffic ticket for a moving violation.

Taking all this into account, you could make the argument that I would be a good father. In any state, except Florida, this would be possible. But here I am forbidden by law only because I am a gay man.

This archaic adoption law is a manifestation of homophobia, a punishment for a sector of the population. Yet even in this injustice we can find a silver lining: Its days are numbered.

Last week, a Miami-Dade judge declared the adoption law unconstitutional, opening the door to motherhood for a lesbian, Vanessa Alenier, who will be allowed to adopt her 1-year-old relative. Judge María Sampedro-Iglesia's order was the third within the last year to strike down the adoption ban.

But the war is not yet won, because the Florida Department of Children and Families has filed an appeal in one of the cases. One may, however, conclude that tolerance does exist with a sector of the state judiciary.

Without a doubt, we are light years away from 1995, when Armando Correa tried to become a father in Miami.

Correa had arrived from Cuba with his partner at the beginning of the 1990s.

Once he had managed to establish himself, he longed for a family. He had grown up without a father. He was in a stable relationship, he had good intentions and financial stability.

To read the complete column, visit www.miamiherald.com.

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