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Arkansas- Judge strikes down Queer and unmarried cohabiting couples foster and adoption ban last Friday

Major new developments unfolded at the end of last week in relation to Arkansas’ ban on Queer and unmarried cohabiting couples prospects of becoming foster or adoptive parents.

I’ve been blogging about the situation in Arkansas for some time now.

First see my earlier posts:

Sewing the scarlet “b”- California’s newest bastards, and other abysmal anti-Queer anti-child bastardization

In other anti-Queer bastard related election news, Arkansas passed its measure prohibiting Queer couples or straight unmarried couples from adopting or fostering, thus doing an end run around the Arkansas Supreme Court ruling.

Naturally this will screw with parents’ ability to decide who will raise their kids. Take for example, a parent who wanted to place their child with a Lesbian aunt instead of a complete stranger. Now as Queers are legally prohibited from adopting in Arkansas, the aunt is now deemed “unqualified” to adopt, based purely upon the very nature of who and what she is.

and the entirety of  my follow-up post ACLU goes to court over Arkansas Act 1, the “Arkansas Adoption and Foster Care Act.”

After being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) last Friday Judge Chris Piazza of Pulaski County Circuit Court struck down the Queer and Unmarried cohabiting couples parenting and foster parent ban Arkansas voters had passed last fall saying:

“Due process and equal protection are not hollow words without substance.”

Queer couples’ ability to serve as foster parents stood at the core of the case. (They were unable to meet Arkansas’ heterosexually defined definition of marriage, and therefore barred. Back in 2004 Arkansas had amended its state constitution to a hetero-centric definition.)

From the ACLU press release:

An Arkansas court today struck down a law challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union that bans any unmarried person who lives with a partner from serving as an adoptive or foster parent in the state of Arkansas.

“We are happy that the court recognized that Act 1 harms Arkansas’s foster children because it eliminates potential qualified parents,” said Holly Dickson, staff attorney with the ACLU of Arkansas. “We have a critical shortage of homes now and this ban was denying good, loving homes to our most vulnerable children.”

The ACLU filed its complaint against the law, known as Act 1, in December 2008. Plaintiffs participating in the case included a lesbian couple who adopted an Arkansas foster child before Act 1 was passed and would like to open their home to a second special needs child, a grandmother who was barred by Act 1 from adopting her own grandchild and several married heterosexual couples who would have been prohibited by Act 1 from arranging for certain friends or relatives to adopt their children if they die or become incapacitated.

“As the proud parents of a former foster child, we are relieved that the court recognized how Act 1 harms the many children in the state in need of homes,” said Wendy Rickman, who, along with her partner of 11 years, Stephanie Huffman, would like to provide a home to another child in need.

Earlier in the week, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee had gone on the attack, equating gay marriage with drug abuse, in the course of supporting the state’s ban on Queer and Unmarried Co-habitating couples fostering or adopting.


“I think this is not about trying to create statements for people who want to change the basic fundamental definitions of family,” Huckabee, a Southern Baptist minister, said.

“Children are not puppies,” he continued. “This is not a time to see if we can experiment and find out, how does this work?”

Huckabee was similarly dismissive of same-sex marriage and even civil unions, which he called “not necessary.”

“You don’t go ahead and accommodate every behavioral pattern that is against the ideal,” Huckabee said when asked about same-sex marriage. “That would be like saying, well, there are a lot of people who like to use drugs, so let’s go ahead and accommodate those who want who use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them. There are people who believe in polygamy, so we should accommodate them.”

The irony of course being that adoption itself, (whether by heterosexuals or not) as practiced here in America is nothing more than a product of social experimentation. Huckabee’s failure to recognize that all adoptions here are little more than ongoing social experimentation belies the central lie at the core of his so called “arguments.”

While he wishes to characterize heterosexual adoptions and foster care as some notion of “normal” and Queer or unmarried couples adoptions and fostering as merely “an experiment” nothing could be further from the truth. All adoptions and for that matter foster care here in the U.S. are part of an ever evolving process of social experimentation, from the development of the sealed records policy to more recent developments relating to so called (usually unenforceable) “open” adoptions.

Point being, adoption policy (regardless of whether het or Queer, married or unmarried)  has been a result of an ongoing evolving process subject to whatever pop-psychological theory is in vogue, or whatever faction in child care policy is in power at any given moment.

To say otherwise is to ignore or be woefully ignorant of adoption history here in the United States.

Meanwhile, in Florida, the wingnut Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC) has also been engaging in scare tactics to its own effort to raise their followers fears of Queer couples in the course of the ongoing Florida adoption and foster care fight.

Utilizing their readership’s fears of all women who are butch or gender non-conformist, the FFPC published the (photoshopped?) picture on the left in the course of describing the case of the actual Lesbian couple on the right.

See Flordia Anti-Gay Adoption Group Accused of ‘Scare Tactics’ Photo for further details.


Apparently when reality doesn’t line up with what opponents of Queer adoptions want to utilize, they’re more than willing to fabricate up some lies.

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