Gay rights advocates have won another court battle, this time in Florida, where an appeals court has ruled that the state's gay adoption ban is unconstitutional, the AP reported.

The 3-judge panel unanimously ruled against the law on Wednesday.

“Given a total ban on adoption by homosexual persons, one might expect that this reflected a legislative judgment that homosexual persons are, as a group, unfit to be parents. No one in this case has made, or even hinted at, any such argument,” the judges wrote in their opinion.

“To the contrary, the parties agree 'that gay people and heterosexuals make equally good parents.'”

The state appealed a 2008 ruling by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman that allowed Frank Gill and his partner to legally adopt the two half brothers they have raised since 2004.

Florida's Department of Children & Families argued that gay men and lesbians are unfit as parents because they are more likely to suffer from mental illness, substance abuse or engage in harmful lifestyle choices. But Lederman disagreed, finding in her 53-page ruling the law to be unconstitutional and to have “no rational basis.”

While other states limit gay couples' access to adoption, Florida has enacted the only outright ban. For example, Arkansas voters in 2008 approved Act 1, which limits joint adoptions to married couples in a state that banned gay marriage four years earlier.

The debate over the law, however, will likely continue to the Florida Supreme Court. Florida's Attorney General, Bill McCollum, who recently lost the GOP gubernatorial primary, said last month that he would ban gay men and lesbians from serving as foster parents.

“I really do not think that we should have homosexuals guiding our children,” he said in an interview with the Florida Baptist Witness. “I think that it's a lifestyle that I don't agree with.”

This is the fourth major court win for gay activists this year. Federal judges have found California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, a federal gay marriage ban, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and a ban on gay troops serving openly in the military, “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” to be unconstitutional.