After a four-year legal battle by the ACLU and the law firm of Greenberg Traurig (which was appointed by the court to represent the children in the case,) two court decisions and countless sleepless nights, Martin Gill and his family took a breath of fresh air yesterday when Department of Children and Families director George Sheldon announced that he will not appeal the decision declaring Florida’s ban on adoptions by gay men and lesbians unconstitutional.
But we can’t rest yet. Attorney General Bill McCollum has until October 22 to decide whether to appeal the case on the state’s behalf.
You can help bring an end to the ban once and for all by encouraging Attorney General McCollum not to appeal the case, bring closure to the Gill family, and end the ban once and for all.
After all, what is there to appeal?
The District Court of Appeal’s eloquent and airtight decision will be binding on all trial courts in Florida. It will then be legal for gay men and lesbians to adopt children in Florida, wiping away 33 years of anti-gay discrimination. Finally, gay people who apply to adopt will be considered under the same terms and criteria as everyone else.
But more importantly, if the state does not appeal, on October 23, Martin Gill and his family will wake up and know that they will be a forever family and that their courage in standing up for the best interests of two young brothers will make it possible for countless other children in Florida’s foster care system to have a loving and permanent home.
Help end Florida's adoption ban today! Send a note to Attorney General McCollum asking him not to appeal the case.
Celebrate Adoption Victory in South Beach
Friday, October 22
8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Shore Club's Beach Pool
1901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
• Martin Gill, ACLU Plaintiff in Adoption Ban Lawsuit
• Howard Simon, ACLU-FL Executive Director
• Shelbi Day, ACLU-FL LGBT Attorney
AND OF COURSE, YOU!
Time to Celebrate
The ACLU of Florida will host a celebration for Martin Gill on Friday, October 22 at the Shore Club in South Beach. If the Attorney General does not appeal, we will celebrate this landmark victory and commemorate the day when Florida’s adoption ban will officially become a relic of Florida’s shameful past. If he does appeal, we will kick off the final step to putting this law to rest once and for all. We invite everyone to come together and share in this auspicious occasion with the ACLU and Martin.
Martin Gill is represented by ACLU LGBT Project senior staff attorney Leslie Cooper and Director James Esseks; ACLU of Florida Legal Director Randall Marshall and LGBT Advocacy Project staff attorney Shelbi Day. The children are represented by Hilarie Bass, Elliot Scherker, Elaine Walter, Brigid Cech Samole and Ricardo Gonzalez of Greenberg Traurig; and Charles Auslander, an attorney and former District Administrator for DCF.