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Federal district court judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled Tuesday that a lawsuit charging Adoption.com with discriminating against same-sex couples can proceed to trial. In 2002 the company refused to accept an application from San Jose, Calif., residents Rich and Michael Butler, a same-sex couple who have been together eight years and sought to post their profiles on the Adoption.com Web site. The site permits prospective adoptive parents to post their personal profiles in hopes of connecting with potential birth mothers. Adoption.com will not, however, permit same-sex couples to post their profiles. "We are relieved that we will have a chance to hold Adoption.com accountable for violating California law by discriminating against gay and lesbian couples," said Rich Butler. "Same-sex couples are just as capable of providing good homes for children as different-sex couples." Added Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a group representing the couple: "Judge Hamilton's ruling is a victory for all children in this state. We are long past the day when adoption agencies or businesses can exclude loving, competent parents simply because they are lesbian or gay."