Florida's 33-year-old ban on gay men and lesbians adopting children is dead following Friday's announcement by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum that he would not appeal a court ruling that upheld a 2008 decision that struck down the law.

Last month, a 3-judge appeals court unanimously upheld the ruling that found the law to be unconstitutional and to have “no rational basis.”

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) had already said it would not challenge the ruling.

“Following the decision by our client, the Department of Children and Families, not to appeal the decision of the Third District Court of Appeals, it is clear that this is not the right case to take to the Supreme Court for its determination. No doubt someday a more suitable case will give the Supreme Court the opportunity to uphold the constitutionality of this law,” McCollum said in a statement.

The decision means that Frank Martin Gill, the plaintiff being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), can legally adopt the two half brothers he and his partner have raised since 2004.

“This law, by baselessly branding gay people unfit parents, was one of the most notorious anti-gay laws in the country, and we are delighted that it has been ended once and for all,” Leslie Cooper, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU LGBT Project, who argued the case before Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal, said in a statement. “This victory means that the thousands of children in Florida who are waiting to be adopted will no longer be needlessly deprived of willing and able parents who can give them the love and support of a family.”

Gill said he was “relieved” and looked forward to focusing on being a family.

“Our boys have overcome difficult beginnings to become happy, healthy kids,” he said. “All children deserve a chance at finding a stable, loving and permanent home.”

Florida was the only state with an outright ban. Other states have enacted laws that limit gay couples' access to adoption. Such as Arkansas, which denies unmarried couples – in a state that bans gay marriage – the right to jointly adopt children.