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Adoption Ban Unconstitutional

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Arkansas Supreme Court Affirms Initiated Act 1
Violates Rights

By Richard Davis
TFW Staff Writer

The Arkansas Supreme Court today kicked to the curb an act that was blatantly aimed at preventing homosexual couples from adopting or providing foster care to children.

The big dogs of the Arkansas judicial system affirmed a lower court ruling that Initiated Act 1 of 2008 violated fundamental privacy rights in the state constitution. The absurd “An Act Providing That an Individual Who is Cohabiting Outside of a Valid Marriage May Not Adopt or Be a Foster Parent of a Child Less Than Eighteen Years Old” created a broad blanket ban on not just homosexual partners but unmarried heterosexual couples who wanted to adopt or provide foster care.

The court rightly confirmed the act amounted to government intrusion into the private sexual rights of adults. In other words, what happened in Arkansas beds didn’t stay in Arkansas beds — it’s everybody’s business!

In addition, the Arkie supreme ones noted the act did not advance the welfare interests of children — something both some of the state’s and conservative group Family Council Action Committee’s own witnesses agreed with in their attempt to defend Act 1. From the court ruling:

“… we first note that Act 1 says ‘[t]he people of Arkansas find and declare that it is in the best interest of children in need of adoption or foster care to be reared in homes in which adoptive or foster parents are not cohabiting outside of marriage.’ … Despite this statement in Act 1, several of the State’s and FCAC’s own witnesses testified that they did not believe Act 1 promoted the welfare interests of the child by its categorical ban.”

Read the full opinion of the judges, download the PDF file here: http://opinions.aoc.arkansas.gov/WebLink8/0/doc/60137/Electronic.aspx

3 Comments

Eric April 7, 2011 at 11:53 am

Not sure how this can be. A petition to get this measure was passed and got enough signatures to be on the ballot. This means of getting an issue on the ballot is per the state constitution. Citizens then voted, based on rules in the constitution, to support this ballot measure. Now someone is unhappy that they lost in the polls and they go crying to some activist judges and get their way? Where is the voice of the people? Why didn’t they cry before they lost?

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rdavis April 7, 2011 at 1:01 pm

1) Plenty of people protested prior to the vote in 2008. Unfortunately, 57 percent of Arkansas decided homosexual partners and unmarried heterosexual couples “living in sin” didn’t deserve the same rights as married folk.
2) One of the great things about being an American is we have the right to challenge unjust laws in court, such as when the Supreme Court shut down state-sponsored school segregation in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education. Running crying? Hardly. Fighting to protect our rights and expand the principles of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is what Americans have done best since the get-go.
3) Activist judges. Yeah, I knew it was only a matter of time before someone dropped that one. It couldn’t possibly be the Arkansas Supreme Court is composed of well-trained, intelligent individuals who have spent years studying the law and the framework of the state constitution. No, they must have some “pro-gay” or “anti-family” agenda. This act was such a broad-based blanket stripping of rights and invasion of privacy that it was a no-brainer for our judges. From the judges opinion:
“Under Act 1, an individual is prohibited from _______________ if that individual is ‘cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of a marriage that is valid under the Arkansas Constitution and the laws of this state.’”
In that blank is “adopting or serving as a foster parent.” But it could just as easily read “voting,” “owning property,” “drinking coffee” or any number of things. The courts and people of this country have continuously upheld, fought for and defended the right for each person’s fair treatment under the law and principles of our founders and the inability of the majority to oppress the minority.

And if that’s not good enough, read through the Arkansas Supreme Court’s thorough and well-considered opinion and tell me where they went wrong:
http://opinions.aoc.arkansas.gov/WebLink8/0/doc/60137/Electronic.aspx

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