Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Foster Parent Ban
BREAKING NEWS FROM THE CULTURE DESK:
Jun 29, 10:59 AM EDTRead the full story from the Baxter Bulletin.
Ark. high court says gays can be foster parent
By ANDREW DEMILLO
Associated Press Writer
LITTLE ROCK (AP) -- The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday said that gays can qualify as foster parents and that barring them from parenting foster children was based on one group's view of morality.
In a unanimous ruling upholding a lower court decision that a state ban was unconstitutional, the high court said that no connection exists between a foster child's well-being and the sexual orientation of that child's foster parents.
Justices agreed with Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox's ruling that the ban seeks to regulate "public morality" - something the board was not given the authority to do. And the high court said the state Child Welfare Agency Review Board in adopting the ban violated the separation of powers doctrine.
"There is no correlation between the health, welfare and safety of foster children and the blanket exclusion of any individual who is a homosexual or who resides in a household with a homosexual," Associate Justice Donald Corbin wrote in the opinion.
(Hat tip to the Arkansas Family Coalition blog).
Now, here we have the Arkansas Supreme Court making a (unanimous!) decision about family matters, giving parental status to homosexual couples while claiming that the "morality" argument doesn't hold up. This decision is VERY disappointing.
Just a historical note for readers on a moral decision made during the 2004 elections -- Arkansans overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment against gay marriage by a margin of 75%-25%. [Reference link (2004) - Arkansas Marriage Amendment Committee]
We will be interested to hear Governor Huckabee's reaction to this.
UPDATE: KARK has reaction from Arkansas Family Council spokesman Jerry Cox who says "this certainly won't be the end of it" and leaves open the possibility of pursuing the matter through legislation or a constitutional amendment.
UPDATE: Here is a PDF (18 pages) of the Arkansas Supreme Court opinion (via the ACLU who was, not surprisingly, in favor of the decision).
UPDATE: In the comments over at the ArkFam blog, Arkansas lawyer Mark White gives his take on the ruling.
UPDATE: Some related good news on Baptist efforts here in Arkansas for orphaned children: Gifts in 2005 to Arkansas Baptist Children's Homes from churches topped $1.1 million - breaking the previous record by $200K. If you are interested in learning more or supporting this ministry, follow this link - Arkansas Baptist Children's Homes.
posted by Arkansas Razorbaptist at 6/29/2006 11:00:00 AM