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Missouri to drop
appeal against lesbian seeking to become foster parent

Missouri to drop
appeal against lesbian seeking to become foster parent

Lisa_johnston_rgt

Now that a Missouri law banning same-sex sexual contact has been struck from the books, the state's attorney general says he will drop his case against a Kansas City lesbian, Lisa Johnston (pictured on right) is suing for the right to become a foster parent.

Now that a Missouri law banning same-sex sexual contact has been struck from the books, the state's attorney general says he will drop his case against a Kansas City lesbian suing for the right to become a foster parent. Missouri governor Matt Blunt signed a new law earlier this week toughening penalties against sexual predators, but the law also removed the long-standing ban on gay sex, a key reason the state had sought to prevent Lisa Johnston from fostering a child, the Associated Press reports. "The governor's signature took away the last argument of the state in this case," Scott Holste, a spokesman for Missouri attorney general Jay Nixon, said Wednesday, according to the AP. Because of that, "we are going to be dismissing the appeal." In 2003, Johnston's application to become a foster parent was rejected by the Missouri Department of Social Services, in part because the department claimed Johnston was not a "reputable character" because of the state ban on same-sex sexual contact. She sued, and this February a Jackson County circuit judge ruled in her favor, ordering social services to reopen Johnston's application. But social services appealed to the Missouri supreme court, where until Wednesday Nixon was set to argue on behalf of the state. He now believes such an appeal would be legally invalid, his spokesman says, according to the AP. However, the governor strongly disagrees with Nixon's decision to drop the case, calling it "outrageous." "We don't believe placing a child with homosexual parents will provide an appropriate environment for foster children," Blunt spokesman Spence Jackson told the AP. "If [Nixon] moves forward with his plans to drop this case, he is doing so without the consent of his client." Adding to the tension is the fact that Nixon, a Democrat, is running against Blunt, a Republican, for the governorship in 2008. The race has created plenty of hostility in recent months, the AP reports. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the department of social services told the AP that its policy preventing gay people from becoming foster parents is still in effect. (The Advocate)

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