Adoption.com sued for discrimination

Filed under: Adoption, Gay Parenting, Gadgets

When Michael and Richard Butler decided to adopt, one of the resources they turned to was the website Adoption.com, which bills itself as "the world's most popular adoption information destination." When they tried to join the site, however, their application was rejected, apparently because they happen to be a gay couple. That, of course, is gender discrimination; Adoption.com refused to do business with them because one of them isn't female.

The couple didn't take that lying down; they sued. The company claimed they had free speech rights to limit who could be included in their paid listings. The listings are used to match birth mothers with prospective parents. U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton rejected that argument, however, noting that the Butlers "are not seeking to place any restrictions on what defendants are permitted to say or to compel them to say anything." The judge is allowing the case to go to trial, since "it is the discriminatory conduct that is at issue here -- defendants' refusal to do business with the plaintiffs."

The Butlers did end up adopting; they have a three-year-old daughter. They are still moving ahead with the case, however. I'm glad of that; there are a lot of issues that a legal victory would address, setting some positive precedents.

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