Michael Crawford

Proposed Ban on Gay Adoptions in Arkansas

Filed By Michael Crawford | October 05, 2007 2:35 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: adoption rights, Arkansas, gay adoption, gay rights, LGBT, lgbt rights

First they came to ban us from being able to marry the person of our choice. Now comes an attempt in Arkansas to pass a constitutional amendment to ban unmarried same-sex couples from being able to adopt children.

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a state-run lottery to fund college scholarships and has approved a proposed ballot measure to prohibit unmarried couples living together from fostering and adopting children.

Lt. Gov. Bill Halter had proposed the lottery measure rejected Thursday by McDaniel. Halter said it would fund $100 million annually in college scholarships.

The conservative Arkansas Family Council filed the initiated act regarding foster and adoptive parents, which would effectively reinstate a state ban on gay foster parents that had been overturned by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

The attorney general must approve the language of ballot measures before supporters can begin collecting signatures on petitions to place them on the November 2008 ballot.

Of course same-sex couples are not able to marry, so in effect all same-sex couples would be banned from adopting kids or becoming foster parents.

Its unbelievable how much more invested Arkansas Family Council is in hurting LGBT people than they are in helping to ensure that kids have families to love and care for them.

This is going to be a key battle to watch. I have wondered for a couple of years when proposed constitutional amendments like this would be put forth. This could be the next wave of constitutional amendments that the LGBT community faces. Its also quite convenient that this one is timed to coincide with the November 2008 elections.

More here.

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As a foster parent in a state that bans gay adoption (damn you, Florida!), I can say first hand what a horrible, repressive thing this proposed initative is and how hard it would be to beat. How people can still buy into the "save the children" Anita Bryant line is beyond me...

It also always amazes me how so-called "family values" groups would rather see kids on the streets or bounced from home to hom rather than with a loving family, gay or otherwise. It is truly disgusting to use children and families as political pawns and shows exactly where their values are.

It's important to note that the proposed amendment bans any cohabitating couples from adopting - including straight couples.

The intent is to not just keep gays from adopting, but to define all heterosexual relationships as well.

It's only a ballot measure. It can subsequently be overturned by a two-thirds vote of both houses of the Arkansas legislature, OR struck down by state judges, OR struck down by federal judges (cf., Nebraska).

Why an initiative rather than a constitutional amendment? I don't know, but I do know that an initiative requires fewer signatures to get on the ballot. Draw your own inferences.