A proposal aimed
at effectively barring gays and lesbians from becoming
foster or adoptive parents was cleared Monday to appear on
this fall's ballot in Arkansas.
The measure would
prohibit unmarried couples living together from
fostering or adopting children, and Arkansas doesn't allow
gays to marry or recognize gay marriages conducted
State Charlie Daniels certified the proposed initiated act
for the November 4 ballot after verifying that the Arkansas
Family Council Action Committee had submitted 85,389
valid signatures of registered voters. Supporters
needed to turn in at least 61,974 valid signatures.
to affirm the importance of married mothers and
fathers," Family Council president Jerry Cox said. "We need
to publicly affirm the gold standard of rearing
children whenever we can. The state standard should be
as close to that gold standard of married mom and dad
homes as possible."
Council campaign is a response to a 2006 Arkansas supreme
court decision striking down a state policy that
specifically barred gays and lesbians from becoming
measure would take the place of a state policy that
currently bars unmarried couples living together from
serving as foster parents.
The measure faces
the threat of a lawsuit from groups who say that it
unfairly discriminates against unmarried couples and limits
the number of foster and adoptive homes available for
First is campaigning against the measure and has said
it plans to file a lawsuit to keep it from appearing on the
November ballot. Debbie Willhite, a lead consultant
for the group, said last week the group has found
numerous signatures that should have been rejected by
the state as invalid and that the group also plans to
challenge the constitutionality of the measure.
Dustin McDaniel opposes the proposed initiated act but
said last week that he was confident it could survive a
Cox said the
Family Council will rely on support from the same network of
churches that helped it pass a constitutional amendment
banning gay marriage in 2004.
Council's campaign had a debt of nearly $2,800 as of July
31. By comparison, Arkansas Families First reported
more than $45,000 in the bank for its efforts to fight
the measure. (AP)