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Federal judge strikes down Mississippi law banning same-sex couples from adopting

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A federal judge on Thursday struck down Mississippi’s ban on adoption by same-sex couples, saying it violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, according to court records.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan came in response to a lawsuit filed in August 2015 on behalf of four legally married same-sex couples, two of whom are already raising children, as well as the Campaign for Southern Equality and the Family Equality Council.

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The plaintiffs argued that the ban discriminated against legally married couples.

The Mississippi ban on adoption by same-sex couples was the only one of its kind in the United States. Gay marriage was legalized in the state in 2014.

The lawsuit came just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down gay marriage bans as unconstitutional across the country.

“Two sets of our clients have waited many (almost nine and 16) years to become legal parents to the children they have loved and cared for since birth,” Roberta Kaplan, lead attorney in the case, said in a statement on Thursday. “We hope that it should finally be clear that discrimination against gay people simply because they are gay violates the Constitution in all 50 states, including Mississippi.”

The Mississippi Department of Human Services, which was named in the lawsuit, could not immediately be reached for comment.

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In his decision, Jordan referred to the opinion by the Supreme Court that struck down the same-sex marriage bans.

It seems “highly unlikely that the same court that held a state cannot ban gay marriage because it would deny benefits – expressly including the right to adopt — would then conclude that married gay couples can be denied that very same benefit,” Jordan wrote.

Citing 2010 census data, the lawsuit said one-third of the 3,484 same-sex couples living in Mississippi were raising children.

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About 100 children in Mississippi are in foster care and legally available for adoption, the lawsuit said.

Plaintiff Susan Hrostowski, who has a 16-year-old son with her wife, co-plaintiff Kathryn Garner, said they had operated as a family in spite of the law but that the decision “means everything.”

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“There is no greater joy on this planet than to have him as my son and for the world to understand, appreciate and affirm that he is my son,” Hrostowski said.

(Reporting by Karen Brooks; Editing by Peter Cooney)


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The View’s Meghan McCain calls for cops to be charged for ‘blatant murder’ of George Floyd

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"The View" co-host Meghan McCain called for charges against the Minneapolis police officers who killed George Floyd.

The four officers lost their jobs over the killing, which prompted widespread protests that were met with tear gas and other violent tactics from police.

"There was huge amounts of protesters that took to the streets last night, and I think people are sitting in their homes and seeing what is blatantly a murder of a man on camera, and George Floyd, I watched the entire video," McCain said. "I know we didn't want to show the entire thing, but it's very graphic. It's very violent."

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US troop pullout from Afghanistan ahead of schedule

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The US military withdrawal from Afghanistan is considerably ahead of schedule, an official told AFP on Wednesday, as President Donald Trump reiterated calls for the Pentagon to bring troops home.

The developments came as questions loomed over the next phase of Afghanistan's long war, with the expiry of a three-day ceasefire and an anxious wait to see when violence might return.

Under a deal the US signed with the Taliban in February, the Pentagon was to bring troop levels down from about 12,000 to 8,600 by mid-July, before withdrawing all forces by May 2021.

But a senior US defense official said the troop number was already at about 7,500, as commanders look to accelerate the withdrawal because of fears over the coronavirus pandemic.

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Rudy Giuliani and his alleged mistress praise hydroxychloroquine on his ‘sad’ radio show ‘that no one listens to’

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This Monday, Rudy Giuliani interviewed a woman alleged to be his mistress where they praised the benefits of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a cure for coronavirus.

During the interview on Giuliani's Uncovering the Truth program, Giuliani repeatedly referred to Maria Ryan, the CEO of a small New Hampshire hospital, as "doctor." Ryan was accused by Giuliani’s third wife of having an affair throughout their marriage. Giuliani has denied the affair.

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