Florida lawmakers in April approved the measure — which revises the state’s adoption laws. It contains an amendment introduced by gay state Rep. David Richardson (D-Miami Beach) that officially repeals a 1977 law prohibiting gays and lesbians from adopting children.
State officials have not enforced the statute since a state appeals court struck it down in 2010.
“This is a momentous day and an important advance for civil rights,” said Richardson on Thursday in a statement. “It’s also great news for children who will be adopted into loving homes.”
“I’m glad the governor did the right thing,” added the Miami Beach Democrat.
Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, in a statement noted the gay adoption ban had not been enforced since 2010, but “its presence in the statutes left the door cracked open for mischief by a rogue judge.”
“The symbolism of erasing Anita Bryant’s stain on our statutes is profound,” said Smith, referring to the singer who lead the campaign to repeal Dade County’s gay rights ordinance in 1977. “We are thrilled that this ugly chapter in Florida’s history has been closed for good. Thousands upon thousands of children live with the security and permanency of a forever home because the courts struck down the ban. Now the lingering insult has been erased as well.”
The Associated Press reported the repeal of the gay adoption ban will become official on July 1.