Mississippi’s Gay Adoption Ban Dead After State Fails To Appeal Ruling

“Mississippi was the last state in the nation that prohibited adoption by gay couples, so, in all 50 states, gay couples are allowed to adopt kids — as it should be,” Roberta Kaplan, lead lawyer in the case, told BuzzFeed News.

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A deadline passed at midnight Tuesday for Mississippi officials to appeal a federal court ruling that found the state’s law banning adoption by same-sex couples was unconstitutional. By failing to continue defending the law, it is effectively dead.

“Mississippi was the last state in the nation that prohibited adoption by gay couples, so in all 50 states, gay couples are allowed to adopt kids, as it should be,” Roberta Kaplan, lead lawyer in the case, told BuzzFeed News. “As far as the state is concerned, gay couples and their kids can’t be treated differently than anyone else.”

It is the latest judicial reverberation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling that struck down state bans on same-sex couples’ marriages.

In March, U.S. District Court Judge Daniel P. Jordan III granted a preliminary injunction that blocked the Mississippi’s Department of Human Services from enforcing the adoption ban.

In his decision, Jordan cited the high court’s ruling on marriage, writing, “The majority of the United States Supreme Court dictates the law of the land, and lower courts are bound to follow it … In this case, that means that [the adoption ban] violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.”

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