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Gays Seek Adoption, Other Rights

March 16th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Hundreds of gay and lesbian people converged on the State Capitol today to seek greater rights for gay and lesbian couples. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, Florida is among the states that allow discrimination against gays.

They came chanting. The rally fell short of the hoped for one thousand people, but what it lacked in numbers it made up in enthusiasm.

Foremost, the group wants to repeal a state law forbidding gay couples to adopt.

Florida is the only state that prohibits gay adoptions and it provides few other protections for gays.

Matin Gill, who has been with his partner 8 years, won a lower court ruling in December throwing out the gay adoption ban. It is being appealed.

It doesnt matter how good of a parent you are, if you are gay or lesbian, you can not be considered for adoption in this state, Gill said. It is shameful.

Others want the same rights to adopt.

If you could look inside our hearts as a community and see the pain that we have over this issue, Rachelle Cliche said. How could you deny anyone?

Stuart Milk is the nephew of slain gay rights activists Harvey Milk. He says discrimination against gays is rampant.

It is legal in Florida if you are an employer to say to an employee, I heard youre gay and I dont want a gay person working for me, Milk said.

The group is also pushing for domestic partnerships and basic anti-discrimination laws for housing and employment.

At least four bills are pending before lawmakers to allow adoptions and provide employment and housing protections.

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