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ACLU fights for
gay foster parents in Arkansas

ACLU fights for
gay foster parents in Arkansas

The fight to allow gay foster parents in Arkansas rages on, with ACLU lawyers on Thursday pushing the state's supreme court to uphold an earlier decision that struck down the existing statewide ban on LGBT foster parents.

The lawsuit, Howard v. Child Welfare Agency Review Board, was originally brought against the state in 1999, and in 2004 a Pulaski County circuit judge ruled that the ban hurt children and that children raised by gay and lesbian foster parents are as well-adjusted as children raised by straight foster parents. The case is now on appeal.

Arkansas's Child Welfare Agency Review Board established a policy in 1999 that "no person may serve as a foster parent if any adult member of that person's household is a homosexual."

The ACLU and other groups, including Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, the Child Welfare League of America, and the American Psychological Association, have argued that the ban eliminates a pool of capable foster parents from providing a much-needed home for foster children.

"Children who need foster homes deserve better than to be deprived of good homes just so the state can make a misguided political statement against gay people," said Rita Sklar, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas. (The Advocate)

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