The Third District Court of Appeal, in Miami, declared Florida’s ban on gay adoption unconstitutional Wednesday, prompting Gov. Charlie Crist to announce that the state will immediately cease enforcing the ban. The matter is now likely headed to the Florida Supreme Court. The panel of three judges voted unanimously to allow North Miami resident Martin Gill to adopt two foster children.

That makes the third time a Florida court has declared the ban unconstitutional; A judge in Key West was the first in 2008. His decision was not appealed by the state because the child in question had already become a ward of the adoptive parent and was out of state jurisdiction.

A month later a Miami circuit court judge ruled against the ban in Gill’s case, which was heard on appeal by the Third District Court. As a Republican, Crist supported the ban. Now as an independent he called the reversal “Great.”

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Gov. Rick Scott, once vehemently opposed to federal spending, is going to ask the Legislature (again) for the budget authority needed to apply for funds from the federal health care reform law. This request comes with added pressure: Millions in federal education grant dollars also hinge on whether Florida accepts the money.