A group called Family Council wants to make sexuality neutral in the adoption and foster care decision process of Arkansas. They’re proposing legislation that allows single people, even gay ones, to adopt and serve as foster parents. But a couple living together – gay or straight – cannot adopt if voters approve the change.
“As we looked into this issue, we discovered that cohabiting heterosexual homes were not good places for children, either,” said Jerry Cox, president of the Family Council.
Unlike a Family Council bill that lawmakers rejected in the recent legislative session, the proposed ballot initiative doesn’t target gays specifically. But gays and lesbians who live as couples need marriage equality, and want to grow families. Arkansas recently approved a constitutional amendment codifying marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution.
Cox said the new proposal avoids constitutional problems by not singling out homosexuals as a group.
“…we could accomplish pretty much everything that needed to be done by simply addressing the issue of cohabitation rather than brining in ‘heterosexual’ or ‘homosexual,’ either one,” he said.
“This is incredibly over-reaching,” said Rita Sklar, executive director of the Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. “This is too much government in family matters. They can’t throw out a group of potentially good parents. Because it doesn’t help, and can even harm children.”
The folks at Arkansas Blog have these random thoughts:
1) What’s to stop a couple from putting one partner out of the house long enough to complete an adoption, then reuniting – gay or straight?
2) Who is going to be the cohabitation police? The presence of an unmarried twosome in a household is not, of itself, proof of disqualification, I’d assume.
3) Most of all: where’s the fire that requires this law, except for the need for a lobby that lives on gay bashing to produce a piece of work to threaten legislators who wouldn’t go along with their hateful agenda in 2007.