Federal judge rules Oklahoma gay adoption ban unconstitutional

Federal judge rules Oklahoma gay adoption ban unconstitutional

[JURIST] US District Court Judge Robin Cauthron Friday struck down [opinion, PDF] a two year-old amendment [text] to the Oklahoma Constitution [text] that prevented Oklahoma from recognizing adoptions by gay parents that were finalized in other US or foreign jurisdictions. Cauthron found that the amendment violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause [text] of the Fourth Amendment, and prohibits the state from considering the fitness of parents or the well-being of children when breaking up the relationship. Cauthron wrote, "The very fact that the adoptions have occurred is evidence that a court of law has found the adoptions to be in the best interests of the children… To now attempt to strip a child of one of his or her parents seems far removed from the statute’s purpose and therefore from Defendants’ asserted important government objective."

Lambda Legal [advocacy website], the gay rights group that successfully argued the case [Lamda press release] on behalf of three same-sex couples, called the ruling a victory for same-sex couples everywhere, while Rep. Thad Balkman (R-OK) said the ruling was another example of activist judges "legislating from the bench."

Read the 2004 official opinion [text, PDF] of the Attorney General of Oklahoma, finding that the amendment would violate the Ninth Amendment. AP has more.