Take That Huckabee: Arkansas Gay Adoption Ban Struck Down

An Arkansas Circuit Court Judge this afternoon struck down the state law banning unmarried couples from adopting or fostering children, the AP reports:

Arkansas "Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Chris Piazza said in a two-page ruling Friday that people in 'non-marital relationships' are forced to choose between becoming a parent and sustaining that relationship.

'Due process and equal protection are not hollow words without substance,' Piazza said. 'They are rights enumerated in our constitution that must not be construed in such a way as to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.' 

…Piazza, a former prosecutor, agreed with claims by families who said the ban lessened the number of available adoptive and foster parents to the point where thousands of children could go without homes.

He said the ban cast 'an unreasonably broad net' and did not serve the state's interest. The American Civil Liberties Union sued the state in December 2008 on behalf of a group of families seeking to overturn the ban. Voters approved the measure in November 2008, two years after the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned a policy by state child welfare officials that blocked gays from being foster parents."


  1. TANK says

    Huzzah! I was just talking about how Florida and AK are the only states that have the adoption ban, and that the people of those states don’t reflect mainstream america. Now it’s just floreedooodah. but of all states, Iowa! Iowa! Can you believe it? I think iowa deserves a shout out every time antigay legislation is repealed or gay rights are advanced in other states….as it is more progressive than california.

  2. B says

    Yes Bobn, because we all know a married couple can raise a child(ren) better than a non married couple, or *gasp* a single parent. Please go sit in the corner and think before you speak, well, post.

    as for the story at hand, I think this is great news!

  3. BobN says

    I didn’t say single people can’t adopt children. I think they can and should.

    I just said that if TWO people in a COUPLE want to adopt and they CAN get married, they should. It is a more stable relationship and provides extra protections for the adopted child in the case of death of one of the adoptive parents.

    If people want to have kids without benefit of marriage, I don’t think anyone should stop them, but with this country’s lousy social support system, I think they’re taking unnecessary risks, again espeicially when one or both parents are killed or disabled.

    My position has nothing to do with anyone’s “morals” about the issue.

  4. says

    Congrats Arkansas! Now if just Florida would reverse it’s disgusting and discriminatory policy. I actually did a Cost/Benefit Analysis on Florida’s Ban on Gay Adoptions when I was finishing up my Ph.D. (check it out on my Web Site) and it’s costing us Florida taxpayers millions! Don’t you just love how the Conservative Republicans love to cite how they hate taxes and government spending. Yet they fully support this law that is costing Floridians quite a bit of money. It’s actually very ridiculous and sad.

  5. John says

    Stephen, even though I’m sure you were joking (I hope), this arkansan thinks you can go to hell.

    Thank you Piazza, Arkansas needs more judges like you. The case is going to be appealed to the state supreme court by the Arkansas family council (which sponsored the initiative). Let’s hope they uphold the ruling.

  6. Jane Roe says

    Bobn, you are taking an illogical, inconsistent position. Why even require (your words) anyone to be married to adopt if you also favor single people and cohabiting couples to adopt? It would seem the marriage requirement would eliminate the adoption rights for singles and unmarried couples.

  7. BobN says

    Good lord, pay attention.

    I said that if TWO people in a COUPLE want to adopt, it’s not unreasonable to expect them to marry. Marriage offers rights and privileges that help protect the child and surviving spouses.

    BUT if someone isn’t part of a couple, that’s no reason he or she can’t adopt.

    Is this “unfair” to cohabiting couples who are cohabiting without benefit of marriage or civil union just because they don’t want to get hitched? Yes, it is. They are failing to create the safest and most reliable child-raising environment that TWO people in love can.

    In a state like Arkansas, where gay people have no choice about legalizing their relationships, this restriction wouldn’t apply to them, of course.

  8. BobN says

    “Bobn. I guarantee you that if the law allowed gays to marry then you would immediately want that law changed so that only the gays are singled out.”

    Yeah, right. Cuz this gay guy who’s been together with his partner for 30 years doesn’t believe in gay rights. Don’t be a nitwit.

    How about reading what I said instead of imagining that you know anything.

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