Governor wants to legislate ban but won’t call special session
PARIS, Ark. A state panel that had approved a policy banning gays and lesbians from serving as foster parents has voted against appealing an Arkansas Supreme Court decision that struck it down.
The state faces a Sept. 29 U.S. Supreme Court deadline, but decided Sept. 7 in a retreat at the Mount Magazine State Park that it would not continue the fight.
A Pulaski County judge and the state Supreme Court ruled the board did not have the authority to impose the ban, which was adopted in 1999. At the time, the board said children should be in traditional two-parent homes because they are more likely to thrive in that environment.
Four people sued and the board dropped the policy after losing a circuit court fight in 2004. The four who sued the board did not apply to serve as foster parents, a state spokeswoman said after the state Supreme Court affirmed the ban in June.
Gov. Mike Huckabee has said he hoped legislators would consider a ban but that he was not inclined to call a special legislative session to address the issue. He leaves office in January before the next term of the Legislature.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, September 15, 2006.