A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Arkansas governor wants legislation banning gay foster parents

[JURIST] Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee [official website] said on Friday that he would like the state legislature to consider reinstating a ban on same-sex foster parents after the Arkansas Supreme Court [official website] Thursday struck down [ruling, PDF; JURIST report] a regulatory provision barring same-sex couples from raising foster children. The court upheld a lower court decision, saying that it found no connection between homosexuality and the ability to raise a child. The state child welfare agency had appealed against section 200.3.2 of the Arkansas Minimum Licensing Standards of the Child Welfare [PDF text], which states in part that "No person may serve as a foster parent if any adult member of that person's household is a homosexual." The Supreme Court agreed with the trial court that "the regulation did not promote the health, safety and welfare of foster children and, thus, the Board exceeded its authority in legislating for public morality."

The Supreme Court decision allowed room for the state legislature to enact a ban by law or give a state agency the authority to enact a ban, however the language of the decision cited no connection between homosexuality and a child's welfare, potentially making legislation difficult to pass. AP has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.