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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Great News for Gay & Lesbian Parents … I Think

posted by on August 4 at 9:23 AM

You can move to Oklahoma!

Seriously though, the 10th Circuit Court ruled yesterday that an Oklahoma law preventing the state from recognizing same sex adoptions from other states was unconstitutional.

Here’s the FU from the ruling to the Oklahoma State Dept. of Health (which had appealed an earlier district court ruling that, indeed, the OK law was unconstitutional:

We hold that final adoption orders by a state court of competent jurisdiction are judgments that must be given full faith and credit under the Constitution by every other state in the nation. Because the Oklahoma statute at issue categorically rejects a class of out-of-state adoption decrees, it violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause.

The analysis over at Decision of the Day is that 10th Circuit ruling will run into trouble at the Supreme Court level.

But for now, Oklahoma is gay friendly whether it wants to be or not. The Oklahoma Dept. of Health originally tried to cut off a court ruling by honoring a gay adoption in this case so that the plaintiffs would just go away.

RSS icon Comments


Well, let's celebrate while we can! I'm sure in another week or so the 10th en banc will vacate the decision over "standing." Still, that's not SO bad. Sooner or later someone WILL have standing (there are gay people in OK, right?), and at least there won't be a ruling against the merits of the case (in terms of constituitionality.)

Posted by arduous | August 4, 2007 9:29 AM

I am so moving to Oklahoma!

Posted by Michigan Matt | August 4, 2007 10:05 AM

I'm sorry -- they're saying the Supreme Court is going to throw over the Full Faith and Credit Clause? And that's GOOD news?

If they do it will be Dred Scott for a new century. Can gay rights split up the Union? Frankly looking at the state of the South these days I'd say "good riddance".

Posted by Fnarf | August 4, 2007 10:05 AM

It's beginning to seem like standing is the last refuge of judges who can no longer get away with trying to justify on the merits their opposition to obviously needed remedies.

I don't follow legal news enough to know if that impression is really accurate, but if it is, it sounds to me like an enemy in retreat.

Posted by lostboy | August 4, 2007 10:07 AM

Fnarf @3, the analysis that Feit linked to actually just makes the same point as arduous @1, namely that the 10th Circuit en banc or possibly the Supreme Court could vacate the decision on standing grounds.  I don't think even the Roberts court is radical enough to reverse the decision on the merits.

Posted by lostboy | August 4, 2007 10:16 AM

Speaking of gay and lesbian parents in the south, Senator Dianne Feinstein of CA thinks its ok to have their biological children taken from them:

"Democrats, under pressure from liberal interest groups, were largely opposed to Southwick because of some controversial opinions that touched on racial and gay issues. But Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., decided to vote for Southwick, joining the nine Republicans on the committee in support of him."

The Human Rights Campaign had this to say about Southwick in a letter to the Judiciary Committee dated 5/23:

"During his tenure on the Mississippi Court of Appeals, Judge Southwick (now in private practice) participated in a custody case involving a lesbian mother.

The majority decision, which Southwick
joined, took an eight-year-old child from the mother, citing in part that the mother had a “lesbian home.” The opinion further denigrates what it calls the “homosexual lifestyle” and the “lesbian lifestyle.”

More disturbingly, Judge Southwick joined a concurrence written by Judge Payne—completely unnecessary to effectuate the result—that emphasized Mississippi’s public policy against lesbian and gay parents (using only the term “homosexuals”). Judge Southwick was the only judge in the majority to join Judge Payne’s concurrence, which is rife with misconceptions and biases."

And that didn't persuade good old Democrat Dianne Feinstein from supporting President Bush's nominee.

Yes, DiFi - the former Mayor of San Francisco that first served as mayor while standing ankle deep in the blood of Harvey Milk.

Gotta love her and the Democrats that support her continual re-elections. Thanks!!

Posted by patrick | August 4, 2007 10:34 AM

OOpps...I meant to say dissuade not the 3rd paragraph from the sincere apologies.

Posted by patrick | August 4, 2007 10:37 AM

@3 Your impression is most certainly correct. However, since these are gay parents in Oklahoma who are directly affected by the lack of recognition of the adoption, they totally have standing.

Posted by Gitai | August 4, 2007 11:18 AM

Oklahoma blows hard and fast. Fuck that.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 4, 2007 11:23 AM

I feel bad for anyone who has to live in Oklahoma. I mean sure, now they have rights...but they still have to live there.


Posted by Original Monique | August 4, 2007 12:00 PM

Ohhhhhklahoma isn't all that bad. After all, it's where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain. And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
when the wind comes right behind the rain.

Posted by Michigan Matt | August 4, 2007 12:08 PM

Analysis by law blogger Dale Carpenter (of Independent Gay Forum) is here:

Posted by Conspirator | August 5, 2007 1:36 AM

As someone who was born and raised in Oklahoma, and who only escaped 15 months do NOT want to live there. Plus, you're missing an important fact: while adoptions granted to gay parents in OTHER states must be recognized, Oklahoma won't grant gay adoptions.

Christ, am I glad I'm not there anymore.

Posted by Joey the Girl | August 6, 2007 8:02 AM

So nice that this forum is open to anynonomous idiots who just love to hear themselvees talk

Posted by Billy Bass | August 15, 2007 3:24 PM

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