Update from Arkansas: Conservatives launch signature drive to ban lesbian and gay couples from becoming parents

A petition drive is underway in Arkansas to force a vote on lesbian and gay parents. An ultra-conservative group wants to prohibit minors from being adopted or placed in a foster home in which a would-be parent is “cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of a marriage which is valid under the constitution and laws of this state.”

The group’s called the Arkansas Family Council Action Committee, and it’s seeking signatures throughout an established network of churches. It’s a political wing of the Family Council.

The language used in the proposal aims to make sexuality neutral in the adoption and foster care decision process. The proposed legislation would allow 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.

NWANews.com reports the petition needs at least 61,974 Arkansas registered voter signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot November 4th.

Countering the assault – a coalition of doctors, ministers, and children’s advocates officially organized to campaign against the proposal. Arkansas Families First filed papers with Secretary of State Charlie Daniels to form a ballot question committee, which is necessary to raise and spend money on the campaign.

Recent poll figures show 53 percent of prospective voters would approve the ban, while 42 percent would reject it. Five percent of those questioned either had no opinion or refused to answer. The poll surveyed 754 Arkansans by telephone – in October.

The ACLU produced a video which introduces viewers to individuals whose lives would be directly affected.

One thought on “Update from Arkansas: Conservatives launch signature drive to ban lesbian and gay couples from becoming parents

  • February 5, 2008 at 5:58 pm
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    I agree that a married couple may be more stable for a child then a couple who have not decided to make that commitment because if they decided not to be together it might create an un-stable environment for the child. Yet, there are couples who have been together for years and have a very stable relationship and would be perfect for parent hood. Also, I am a Lesbian and I believe that if they pass this measure then the state should allow gay and lesbian couples to marry because they are discriminating against that group of people. There are a huge amount of gay and lesbian couples out there that would love to be joined in wedlock and would make better parents then some straight couples. Being gay and lesbian is not a disease, you can’t catch it. There was a time in our history where white people beleived that when they shook the hand of an African American that it was necessary to rub your hand off afterwards as if you can catch black, which is ridiculous, well preventing children from having a loving family and caring, responsible parents, and a good stable life just because your religion says it is wrong for two people of the same sex to sleep together is just as ridiculous and it is almost cruel. Open up your eyes, there are more important things in this world to put your energy and means in to then just focusing on preventing loving human beings, who would make amazing parents, the right to adopt. WAKE UP!

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