MIAMI (WFLX) - A Miami-Dade County judge ruled the gay adoption ban unconstitutional in 2008, but the state appealed.
The 3rd District Court of Appeals finally issued its decision Wednesday -- a unanimous vote backing the lower court's decision that the ban is unconstitutional saying there is no "rational" reason to prohibit all homosexuals from adopting children.
Florida is the only state with a law flatly banning gays from adopting children.
The lawsuit was filed by the ACLU on behalf of Martin Gill, who wanted to adopt the foster children he and his Miami partner had been caring for since 2004.
The state's largest gay rights group, Equality Florida, says this is a major victory. "It reaffirms what we already know. Their families are healthy and happy and the children are happy and that backs up all the imperical evidence," said Allan Hendricks with Equality Florida.
Hendricks says this ruling sets a major precedent.
Individual courts, he says, will now take on new gay adoption cases and this appeals victory could back up gay couples wanting to adopt.
However, he adds, the issue will most likely end up before Florida's Supreme Court.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced he will cease enforcing the state's 33-year-old gay adoption law.