Homosexuals and Adoption: Equal Protection
- Florida need not show that homosexuals pose a greater threat than other unmarried adults who are allowed to adopt. Rather, the question was one of rationality.
- "It is not irrational to think that heterosexual singles have a markedly greater probability of eventually establishing a married household and, thus, providing their adopted children with a stable, dual-gender parenting environment."
- It was rational to believe that heterosexual singles are better positioned than homosexual individuals to educate and guide their adopted children regarding their sexual development. Because most adopted children will develop heterosexual preferences, those children will need education and guidance after puberty about relating to the opposite sex. It therefore serves the child's best interests to have parents who can personally relate to the child's problems and assist the child in transitioning to heterosexual adulthood.2
- Because adopted children often have developmental problems arising from adoption, having a stable heterosexual household during and after puberty might be more important for adopted children than for other children.
- Whether the Florida legislature was misguided was a question of legislative policy, not constitutional law. "The legislature is the proper forum for this debate."
The Florida statute violates equal protection. The court reasoned:
"It is not irrational to think that heterosexual singles have a markedly greater probability of eventually establishing a married household and, thus, providing their adopted children with a stable, dual-gender parenting environment."
But single persons are either fit to adopt when they adopt, or they are not. The state cannot let single parents adopt without assuming they will stay fit if they stay single Under that assumption, single parents are not furthering the state's goal of providing a "stable, dual-gender parenting environment."