(Orlando, FL) Yesterday afternoon, 116 lawyers who are members of the Florida Bar filed a formal notice in support an Amicus (friend of the court) Brief which argues that the Family Law section the Florida Bar is in violation of both the United States Constitution and its own internal policies by supporting the recent ruling of Judge Cindy Lederman that Florida‘s homosexual adoption ban should be overturned.
Attorney John Stemberger of Orlando, Florida filed the Notice of Joinder on behalf of the other 116 Florida Bar lawyer members in good standing. The Notice is filed in support of arguments made in an Amicus Brief on behalf of attorney Perry Hodges, a dissenting and long standing member of the Family Law Section of the Bar who practices law in Fort Lauderdale.
Hodges was represented by attorney Collins Foreman, who filed the Amicus Brief last week in the Third District Court of Appeals arguing that the decision by the Family Law Section to support an issue such as homosexual adoption or other similarly divisive issues to its members is both unconstitutional and violates the Bar’s internal policies.
Specifically the brief requested the following relief from the appellate court:
Therefore the court should disregard the brief of the Family Law Section in that such brief is not consistent with the Bar’s stated purposes and because it is in support of an issue of an ideological nature which has the potential of causing deep philosophical or emotional divisions among Bar members.
The Perry Amicus brief did not address gay adoption as a policy issue or the merits of Judge Lederman’s ruling and confines itself only to the inappropriate nature of the Family Laws decision to support the issue and then to file a brief in support of the homosexual adoption position.
John Stemberger, President and General Counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council, commented: “The Florida Bar, of which I and all other lawyers are required to be a members of, needs to remain a professional association that educates lawyers and then regulates them. The bar should not inject itself into the culture war and take positions on divisive issues to its membership like gay adoption. The Bar can not require all attorneys and judges to become mandatory members, pay mandatory dues, and then turn around and become advocates on disputed political and moral issues. This violates the First Amendment rights of the many dissenting members.”
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