A federal judge on Thursday stuck down
Mississippi's ban on adoption by gay and lesbian couples.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan ruled
in favor of the four lesbian couples challenging the law. In his
ruling, Jordan said that the Supreme Court's June 2015 finding that
gay couples have a constitutional right to marry included other
benefits closely aligned with marriage, such as adoption.
“It also seems highly unlikely that
the same court that held a state cannot ban gay marriage because it
would deny benefits – expressly including the right to adopt –
would then conclude that married gay couples can be denied that very
same benefit,” Jordan wrote.
The couples were represented by Roberta
Kaplan (pictured) of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
and Robert McDuff of McDuff & Byrd, the same legal team behind
the federal case that struck down Mississippi's ban on gay marriage.
Kaplan in 2013 argued the Supreme Court case that struck down a key
provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which led to the
federal government recognizing the marriages of gay couples.
“The ban is effectively over,”
Kaplan told the AP.
LGBT rights advocates the Campaign for
Southern Equality and Family Equality Council joined the case as
plaintiffs representing LGBT families across Mississippi.
Mississippi was the only state left
with an outright adoption ban based solely on sexual orientation.