In the year 2000, the state of Mississippi put into effect a law that prevented same-sex couples from legally adopting. Fifteen years later, it was the last remaining law of its kind being enforced throughout the nation. In August of 2015 The Campaign for Southern Equality filed a lawsuit against the State arguing that the State’s ban of adoption by same-sex couples discriminated against lesbian and gay couples. Same-sex couples wanted to be treated equally in the eyes of the law, and over the next year the lawsuit filtered through the court system. In March of 2016 it then made its way to U.S. District Judge, Daniel Jordon.
In his ruling, Judge Jordon blocked the ban against the law, which effectively made same sex-couples legally allowed to adopt in all 50 states. In the wake of his decision, some thought that Mississippi officials would appeal his decision and drag out the process. Most, however, thought the opposite. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages are to be legal across the United States. Part of this ruling was determined to be that a State cannot deny benefits to same-sex couples and the right to adopt is under the umbrella of marriage related benefits.
Fast forward a few months and we see that the echoes of the case have finally been silenced and the window for Mississippi officials to make an appeal has closed. As they allowed the time to lapse, the law will effectively cease to be.
In June of 2015 Florida got rid of its own ban against same-sex adoption; even though it did not enforce it for some years before that. Many states followed suit with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. This is a time of exciting, great, and historical change as we continually move toward a future of equality.
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Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.
Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.
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