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Florida Supreme Court deems adoption ban unconstitutional

Quick Hit: Florida Supreme Court deems adoption ban unconstitutional - Feministing

Wow. Florida?

A Miami-Dade circuit judge Tuesday declared Florida's 30-year-old ban on gay adoption unconstitutional, allowing a North Miami man to adopt two foster kids he has raised since 2004.

Moments after Lederman released the ruling, attorneys for Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced they would appeal the decision to the Third District Court of Appeal in Miami.

The attorney general's office had argued that gay men and lesbians are disproportionately more likely to suffer from mental illness or a substance abuse problem than straight people, rendering them less fit to parent -- especially children in foster care who already are under tremendous stress.

November 25, 2008

Florida judge: Adoption ban has 'no rational basis'

Discrimination based on what a person is never does. PageOneQ | Florida judge: Adoption ban has 'no rational basis'
A Miami judge has struck a blow against a Florida law banning adoptions of children by gay people. Miami Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman ruled Tuesday there was "no rational basis" for prohibiting gays from adopting children.

November 24, 2008

Is the sex offender registry cruel and unusual punishment?

Sex offender files lawsuit to get off list | ajc.com

I think it is, especially when the offender in the case is a consenting teenager busted for having sex with another teenager.

The lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit that seeks to overturn parts of Georgia’s sex-offender registry law is now trying to eliminate her classification as a sex offender.

Wendy Whitaker’s status as an offender violates the Constitution’s guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment, says her new lawsuit, filed Friday in Columbia County Superior Court.

Whitaker, 29, is on the registry for having consensual oral sex with a classmate three weeks before his 16th birthday. Whitaker had just turned 17. Both were high school sophomores.

Because of her 1997 sodomy conviction, Whitaker must register as a sex offender for life and comply with the law’s residency restrictions that bar her from living within 1,000 feet of designated areas where children congregate.

OMFG! Boy George Wigs Out, Beats Male Prostitute with Chain, and Stiffs Him 150 Bucks!

BBC NEWS | UK | England | London | Boy...

On transgendered children

A Boy's Life - The Atlantic (November 2008)

A very in-depth article from The Atlantic.

For his third Christmas, Tina bought Brandon a first-rate Army set—complete with a Kevlar hat, walkie-talkies, and a hand grenade. Both Tina and Brandon’s father had served in the Army, and she thought their son might identify with the toys. A photo from that day shows him wearing a towel around his head, a bandanna around his waist, and a glum expression. The Army set sits unopened at his feet. Tina recalls his joy, by contrast, on a day later that year. One afternoon, while Tina was on the phone, Brandon climbed out of the bathtub. When she found him, he was dancing in front of the mirror with his penis tucked between his legs. “Look, Mom, I’m a girl,” he told her. “Happy as can be,” she recalls.

“Brandon, God made you a boy for a special reason,” she told him before they said prayers one night when he was 5, the first part of a speech she’d prepared. But he cut her off: “God made a mistake,” he said.

Tina had no easy explanation for where Brandon’s behavior came from. Gender roles are not very fluid in their no-stoplight town, where Confederate flags line the main street. Boys ride dirt bikes through the woods starting at age 5; local county fairs feature muscle cars for boys and beauty pageants for girls of all ages. In the Army, Tina operated heavy machinery, but she is no tomboy. When she was younger, she wore long flowing dresses to match her long, wavy blond hair; now she wears it in a cute, Renee Zellweger–style bob. Her husband, Bill (Brandon’s stepfather), lays wood floors and builds houses for a living. At a recent meeting with Brandon’s school principal about how to handle the boy, Bill aptly summed up the town philosophy: “The way I was brought up, a boy’s a boy and a girl’s a girl.”

November 23, 2008

Jail terms for Israeli neo-Nazis

The what who where now? BBC NEWS | Middle East | Jail terms for Israeli neo-Nazis
Eight teenagers have been sentenced to time in jail by a court in Israel for carrying out a series of neo-Nazi attacks that shocked the nation. The eight, aged from 16 to 19, were found guilty of attacking religious Jews, gays and drug addicts, and the desecration of a synagogue. The group, immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union, were sentenced to between one and seven years in jail.