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Arkansas May Ban
Adoption by Gays

Arkansas May Ban
Adoption by Gays

A group in Arkansas says it has gathered more than enough signatures to get a proposal banning adoption by gays on the November ballot.

A group in Arkansas says it has gathered more than enough signatures to get a proposal banning adoption by "unmarried cohabiting couples" on the November ballot. However, the Arkansas Adoption and Foster Care Act may end up in the courts before voters can decide on the proposal's fate, according to KLRT news.

The group, the Family Council Action Committee, submitted an additional 30,000 signatures to the state capitol on Thursday to make up for its 4,000-signature shortfall, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. The original submission of 65,000 signatures netted 57,888 verified names, and 61,974 are required to quality a measure for the state ballot. The group is the same one that proposed the ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage in 2004.

Secretary of state Charlie Daniels granted the extra filing period to the group. Despite the need for an extended deadline, the organization's president, Jerry Cox, said the measure should pass easily in November.

Another organization, Arkansas Families First, thinks gays should be allowed to adopt and is suing the secretary of state.

"The overall picture is bad public policy," Aimee Berry, a member of that group, told KLRT. "We're filing the lawsuit because we feel as though they have gone around the legislative process and that they are doing this incorrectly."

The act would prohibit a child from being adopted or placed in a foster home in which a would-be parent is "cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of a marriage which is valid under the constitution and laws of this state." Arkansas bans same-sex marriage. The state already has a policy excluding cohabiting couples from serving as foster parents, but there is no similar restriction on adoption.

Cox said in a written statement to the Democrat Gazette that the act would apply equally to gays and straights. (The Advocate)

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