Mississippi's Ban On Same-Sex Adoption Finally Begins To Unravel

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Marriage equality might be (almost) fully in effect across the nation, but Mississippi still doesn't allow same-sex couples to jointly adopt children. That may change sooner than later today, though.

This week, a lawsuit was filed by the Campaign for Southern Equality, the Family Equality Council, and four Mississippi same-sex couples in United States District Court to strike the ban down. Though single LGBT individuals are allowed to adopt, the state eliminated that right for gay and lesbian couples with a single sentence of legislation in 2000. It reads: "Adoption by couples of the same gender is prohibited," without any further explanation.

But as new civil rights laws sweep the country, it seems clear that this ban is not only outmoded, but wildly unreflective of the state's reality. According to the complaint filed yesterday, data from last year shows that 29% of Mississippi's LGBT households contained children under the age of 18. That's the highest percentage in America.

"Of course, not all families are the same," the complaint also reads. "They differ in size, cultural heritage, religion, and economic means. Some are headed by parents who planned, were prepared for, and wanted children — others not.

"The question before this court is not what kind of family is best. That is not a question for this or any court to decide. Rather, the question here is whether there is a legal basis for depriving many children in Mississippi of the protections and security of having two legal parents."

Now that's a hard point to contradict.

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