November 26, 2008 in Nation/World

Adoption ban ruled illegal

Associated Press photo

Frank Gill reacts after a judge rules that a Florida law blocking gay people from adopting children is unconstitutional.
(Full-size photo)

A Miami child welfare judge Tuesday declared Florida’s 31-year-old ban on adoption by gay people unconstitutional, rejecting the state’s claim that the law promotes public morality and the best interests of foster children who may be harmed by same-sex parents.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman approved the adoption of two half-brothers, identified only as John and James Doe, by Frank Gill, a gay North Miami man who has raised the two foster children since they were brought to him in December 2004 by a state child abuse investigator. The boys now are 8 and 4 years old.

“John and James left a world of chronic neglect, emotional impoverishment and deprivation to enter a new world, foreign to them, that was nurturing, safe, structured and stimulating,” Lederman wrote. “They are a family, a good family, in every way except the eyes of the law.”

Lawyers for the state immediately vowed to defend the prohibition against gay adoption, saying the law protects fragile foster children from an unhealthy lifestyle.


Barbara Bush examined for pain

Former first lady Barbara Bush was in a Houston hospital Tuesday after complaining of a “little bit of pain.”

Family spokesman Jim McGrath said Bush went to Methodist Hospital as a precaution. She had been experiencing some pain this week but McGrath did not know what it was.

McGrath said all of the results for tests she had undergone had been negative. It wasn’t immediately known whether Bush, 83, would stay in the hospital overnight.

Los Angeles

Storm threatens fire-ravaged area

Southern Californians living near areas scarred by recent wildfires sandbagged around their homes and in some places were told to leave them Tuesday as a storm approaching from the Pacific brought a threat of floods and mudslides.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered state agencies to prepare to aid local organizations in case of disaster.

“The state stands ready to help local governments protect lives and property,” he said.

A low-pressure area about 700 miles off the coast was heading northeast and could bring an inch of rain through Thanksgiving and up to 4 inches in the mountains, said Stan Wasowski, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in San Diego.

From wire reports

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