May 1, 2005 Letters

first_img Letters Gay Adoptions The Family Law Section has demonstrated courage in seeking to have the ban against gay adoption overturned. As with all issues involving civil rights, historically, there are those who are not members of the minority who raise the specter of great horrors ahead if: (choose one)a. Blacks are allowed to marry whites;b. Jews are allowed to immigrate to the United States;c. Japanese are allowed to own real property;d. Women are allowed to vote.Such views are almost comical now. Most of us are embarrassed that such views were widely held in our country at any time.Those who pay attention to history realize the pivotal role lawyers and courts played in each cause. As long as a majority is able to sustain the “us versus them” mentality, gay rights will continue its struggle.Years from now, I would guess that many of us will wish we, too, had played a more pivotal role in relieving another minority from the tyranny of the majority. Richard M. “Rick” Knellinger Gainesville May 1, 2005 Letters May 1, 2005 Letterscenter_img I respect the right of our Bar members to their various opinions regarding sections taking positions on the issue of repeal of the adoption ban.However, one writer in the April 1 News writes that children who are raised by gay parents have more various risks and undesirable outcomes than children raised by non-gay parents.All reputable sociological and psychological studies in the past 20 years have concluded that children raised by gay parents have no more risks or instances of bad outcomes than children raised by non-gay parents, let alone, Heaven forbid, turning out to be gay themselves. In fact, those who have investigated the question find that children raised by gay parents tend to be more accepting in their attitudes toward difference in society. Not a bad outcome in itself.I have a larger concern. Many children are being raised in gay households right now. I know quite a few such families and attest to the dedication, love, and good upbringing that characterize those families. Should those families be split up? That seems like the logical extension of the concept behind the adoption ban. Family stability is also affected by the lack of second parent adoption. As we lawyers know, the absence of legal parenthood can be catastrophic in the event of the death of a natural parent. Conversely, the natural parent and the surviving child have none of the significant legal rights of survivors, including Social Security benefits and claims arising from wrongful death of the nonbiological parent. These results are neither fair nor constructive for society. Carl A. Schuh St. Petersburg Journal Directory I would like to join attorney Arthur A. Cohen in calling on our fellow lawyers to contact The Florida Bar Journal to request the inclusion of contact information for the courts, clerks, and sheriffs statewide in the annual directory. I suggest that we also ask for the Rules of Professional Conduct to be returned to the directory. The competent, efficient, and ethical practice of law will be facilitated by having this information at our fingertips. Richard S. Jackson DeLandThis letter is to voice support for the position set forth by Arthur A. Cohen in a letter published in the April 1 News, commenting upon the deletion from the annual Journal directory of the names, addresses, and phone numbers of courts, clerks, sheriffs, state and federal officials, and other information.Having the material “online” is insufficient for those of us who do not spend all day “online,” but who spend lots of other time reading, preparing papers, editing, doing other things, often with old style tools, i.e., pen and pencil. Additionally, having material “online” is an actual inconvenience, when we are otherwise working “online,” since it requires dropping out of the specific item in production, to research another Web site, to acquire information.In a world filled with voice and telepad access “options,” the elimination of a paper source of reference, that was both handy and essential, is just another blow to the sole practitioner’s office.It is bad enough that the federal courts have gone to all electronic filing, because I can always elect not to practice in the federal courts. However, since membership in the Bar is not an option, I would prefer to have some asset value from the dues that I submit each year. The Bar Journal directory had some asset value, primarily in the public agency information, since I have much more occasion to consult that than I do to consult the names, addresses, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, etc., of the 76,000 other Bar members.Please count me as part of the “substantial demand” to have the vital information reinstated in next year’s book, and each edition thereafter. Richard Clinton Keene Neptune Beach ( Editor’s Note: The Board of Governors has decided to put the courts section back into the September annual Journal directory issue and it also will appear on the Bar’s Web site in the same format.)last_img

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