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Mississippi activists challenge state’s same-sex adoption ban
Mississippi activists challenge state’s same-sex adoption ban

[JURIST] Mississippi civil rights groups filed [complaint, PDF] a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging the policy of the Mississippi Department of Human Services [official website] that bans adoption by married same-sex couples. The Campaign for Southern Equality, Family Equality Council [advocacy websites] and two female same-sex couples are the plaintiffs in this lawsuit, challenging the ban as unconstitutional for discriminating against legally married couples based on the gender of the spouses. The Mississippi ban is the only one of its kind in the country. According to the complaint:

As a consequence [of Mississippi’s adoption ban], the equal dignity of hundreds of families and thousands of children in Mississippi is disrespected and the significant and concrete rights, benefits, and duties that come with legal parentage are denied. The Mississippi Adoption Ban means that “thousands of . . . children [are] actually being raised in homes . . . [with] only one legal parent, not the two who want them”. The Mississippi Adoption Ban is an outdated relic of a time when courts and legislatures believed that it was somehow okay to discriminate against gay people simply because they are gay.

This complaint comes just weeks after the US Supreme Court [official website] struck down [JURIST report] gay marriage bans across the country as unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] and adoption remain controversial issues around the world. In June the governor of Michigan signed a law [JURIST report] that allows private adoption agencies to deny placements with same-sex couples for religious reasons. In May the Supreme Court of the US Virgin Islands ruled [JURIST report] that second-parent adoptions by same-sex couples are permitted under Virgin Islands law. In April the Florida Senate voted to repeal [JURIST report] the state’s ban on same-sex adoption. In March the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals ruled that the state must recognize [JURIST report] the out-of-state adoption of a biological mother’s same-sex partner. Also In March, the Slovenian Parliament [official website] passed legislation [JURIST report] granting same-sex marriage and adoption rights amid public opposition from conservative and religious groups. In February the Constitutional Court of Colombia [official website, in Spanish] upheld [JURIST report] a restriction that same-sex couples cannot adopt children that have no biological relation to either parent.