Hundreds protest Kentucky Senate bill which effectively bans gay foster parents

Approximately 150 people protested in Frankfort, Kentucky yesterday against proposed Senate Bill 68, which intends to bar gays and lesbians from serving as foster parents or adopting children.

The event was organized by Louisville’s Fairness Campaign to protest the bill, which would bar anyone “cohabitating with a sexual partner outside of marriage” from becoming a foster or adoptive parent. It would apply to heterosexual couples but gay-rights supporters argue it is aimed at gay couples and is modeled on an Arkansas law passed last year to ban gay foster and adoptive parents.

Opponents argue it would also limit the number of foster and adoptive parents in a state that has more than 7,000 children in need of care who have been removed from homes because of abuse or neglect.

About 1,878 Kentucky children are eligible for adoption – or soon will be as their parental rights are terminated, Vikki Franklin, a spokeswoman for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services said. Of those whose parental rights have been terminated, the state is still seeking adoptive homes for 422, she said.

“We are always looking for loving, nurturing homes,” she said.