Thursday, April 14, 2011

Do Kids Need a Mom and Dad? Arkansas Says No; Virginia Says Yes

In a 7-0 ruling on Apr. 7, the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down a voter-approved law that prohibited any cohabiting couples from adopting or fostering a child.

Act 1 — which was written by the Arkansas Family Council (AFC) — passed in 2008 with 57 percent of the vote. The American Civil Liberties Union sued, and in April 2010, a Pulaski County circuit judge ruled it unconstitutional. Today, the state’s highest court agreed.

“We have said all along that Act 1 was about child welfare,” said Jerry Cox, president of AFC. “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.”

In Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office is working to block proposed rules that would force private adoption agencies to place children with same-sex couples, against the agencies’ religious beliefs.

Fewer than 30 people support the rules initiated by former Gov. Tim Kaine, according to a Washington Times review of 1,074 public comments posted last week.

“This was language proposed by the Kaine administration. We are working with the agency (Department of Social Services) to remove the language,” McDonnell spokeswoman Taylor Thornley said.

Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation, has said private adoption agencies should have the ability to screen prospective parents based on the agencies’ beliefs.

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