updated 10/22/2010 6:40:42 PM ET 2010-10-22T22:40:42

Attorney General Bill McCollum said Friday he would not appeal a recent court ruling declaring unconstitutional Florida's ban on adoption by homosexuals. The decision effectively ends the state's 33-year law ban on the adoption of foster children by gay couples.

"The constitutionality of the Florida law banning adoption by homosexuals is a divisive matter of great public interest,” McCollum said in a statement.  “As such, the final determination should rest with the Florida Supreme Court, not a lower appellate court. 

"But after reviewing the merits of independently seeking Supreme Court review, following the decision of our client the Department of Children and Families not to appeal the decision of the Third District Court of Appeal, it is clear that this is not the right case to take to the Supreme Court for its determination.”

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A three-judge state appellate court panel unanimously ruled last month that there was no "rational basis" for Florida's ban.

Shortly after, Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Department of Children and Families announced that they would not appeal the decision. That left only McCollum's office to decide whether to ask the Florida Supreme Court to consider the case, the Miami Herald reported.

The court ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Martin Gill, a Miami man who wanted to adopt two foster children he and his partner have been raising for almost six years, according to the Herald.

"I know that gays and lesbians can be good parents," Gill, 49, told the Orlando Sentinel. "I really was just doing what was best for my kids … but as of today, there is no state that has a categorical ban on gays adopting. Florida was the only blanket ban and now it's gone. I'm hoping there's no going back."

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