Today the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s opinion that a recently passed law that would prohibit unmarried, cohabitating couples from adopting or fostering children is unconstitutional. The court ruled that the law, which was targeted at gay and lesbian families, needlessly violated their right to privacy. As Arkansas Justice Robert Brown maintained, under the ban such couples “must choose either to lead a life of private, sexual intimacy with a partner without the opportunity to adopt or foster children or forego sexual cohabitation and, thereby, attain eligibility to adopt or foster.”
Naturally outraged, the far-right Arkansas Family Council condemned the decision as “judicial tyranny” and “anti-child.” The AFC actually brought in the Alliance Defense Fund to defend the adoption prohibition, which was passed in 2008, because the group didn’t trust the state’s Democratic administration to effectively defend the law:
“This is a classic example of judicial tyranny,” said Family Council Action Committee President Jerry Cox. “We have said all along that Act One was about child welfare, and fifty-seven percent of the voters in 2008 agreed. They declared that the State of Arkansas has an obligation to adoptive and foster children to ensure that they are placed in the best possible homes. The Arkansas Supreme Court has chosen to run roughshod over the people’s will and refused to uphold a good law that protected the children in the state’s care.”
Cox said, “I’d like to personally thank the 75 county coordinators and 2,700 volunteers who helped gather signatures to get Act One on the ballot. They worked hard to gather over 100,000 signatures between January and August of 2008. It is because of their dedication that this good law made it on the ballot and passed in 73 counties. I will be forever grateful to everyone who put time and effort into this worthy initiative.
“Today’s ruling was anti-child,” said Cox. “The ACLU couldn’t defeat this good law in a fair election, so they used the court system against the people of Arkansas. This is the worst decision ever handed down by the Arkansas Supreme Court.”