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    Thursday, June 29, 2006

    Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Foster Parent Ban

    LATEST UPDATE (6/30): Governor Huckabee, just back from a trip from Asia, reacts to court decision. He says the legislature should pass a statutory ban. Read about it here.

    BREAKING NEWS FROM THE CULTURE DESK:
    Jun 29, 10:59 AM EDT
    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.
    Read the full story from the Baxter Bulletin.
    (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

    10 Comments:

    Blogger Arkansas Razorbaptist said...

    This is truly alarming...Attorney J. Mark White is totally on point.

    Thursday, June 29, 2006 3:56:00 PM  
    Anonymous Batgirl said...

    Well, believe it or not... Batgirl isn't so resolved on this issue. I read a story a few years ago about a gay couple somewhere (Colorado??? Not real sure) who had several foster children. These were kids no one else wanted. I think a few of them had HIV... at least one did... that much I remember. All of them had some reason "regular" foster parents didn't want them. The only alternative to the gay couple... group home. These kids had been with that couple for a long time... some of them almost their entire life. The only reason they weren't adopted was b/c the couple was gay and couldn't adopt. And then the kids were taken away b/c of a law like this being passed.
    Its b/c of cases like that that I don't know... we're talking foster care here... not adoption. We're talking about kids a lot of people don't want. We're talking about a job that is not overflowing with applicants. How many people in your own churches are foster parents? I know a lot of people but can only think of one person who is a foster mom... and a dang good one.
    Now, homosexuality is wrong. Very wrong... I'm in no way saying it isn't. But so is adultry. A cheating husband can be a foster parent, but a gay man cannot? If I had to pick a situation where the child would have a better upbringing... sorry, I'd say the gay committed household and not the cheating husband household.

    Thursday, June 29, 2006 7:00:00 PM  
    Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

    Batgirl,

    That is a hard one.

    Thursday, June 29, 2006 8:27:00 PM  
    Anonymous Boy Wonder said...

    I have to say I very much disagree. It is a sad state when we are brought to a point where we say - let the homosexuals take care of the kids, 'cause we can't. I'm not being personal here or anything. I'm saying, this is something that should alarm us and challenge us as Christians and as a denomination. We do have Baptist group homes for children. Perhaps we are not prioritizing their mission as much as we should.

    James 1:27 (NIV) - Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

    Thursday, June 29, 2006 9:06:00 PM  
    Blogger Arkansas Razorbaptist said...

    Batman here....I too thought Batgirl was hitting the crack pipe, but after rereading her post I see her point, because we aren't doing enough.

    Thursday, June 29, 2006 9:28:00 PM  
    Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

    There is no easy answer. I blame the church for part of this mess. We need to step up to the plate and take care of these children. I have no idea how though!

    Friday, June 30, 2006 7:12:00 AM  
    Blogger Arkansas Razorbaptist said...

    Church has become such a comfortable part of most people's lives, this will take a massive shift in thinking.

    Friday, June 30, 2006 7:36:00 AM  
    Blogger John Fariss said...

    I agree that we are not doing our part. I have said that for several years re: abortion. We have said time and time again that it is wrong (with which I completely agree). But what do we do to provide for females who are considering abortions? Yes, most conventions (at least the larger ones, in the South) have Family Services which provide a place for women to stay, have babies, then decide to either keep or give them up for adoption--but the numbers of "spaces" available in those programs is not a drop in the bucket next to the number of abortions that are performed yearly. PLUS--although it is sometimes said that the number of abortions is roughly equal to the number of adoption requests--the fact is that many of the babies aborted are racially mixed, or are born with additiction issues, or other special needs (like AIDS)making them the least likely candidates for adoption. Will we step up to the plate?

    And while I am not in favor of the ruling--I must say that I know a lesbian couple who have raised a beautiful, Jesus-loving, Bible-believing girl, now 16, and a member of the church I serve. (Needless to say, neither of the "mothers" attend church.)

    Friday, June 30, 2006 9:40:00 AM  
    Anonymous Batgirl said...

    We have Arkansas Baptist Children's Homes (http://www.abchomes.org/) I want to do more for the children there though.
    ABCHomes also has a maternity and emergency receiving homes.

    Friday, June 30, 2006 1:25:00 PM  
    Anonymous Batgirl said...

    ha ha... guess I should read all the updates before posting. I didn't read that last one about ABCHomes before posting :)

    Friday, June 30, 2006 1:27:00 PM  

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