Poll: Majority in Ark. don’t want gay foster ban on ballot

Posted on 12 Apr 2007 at 8:13pm
By Associated Press

Results aren’t scientific, but 67 percent say they are opposed

A majority of the people who responded to a newspaper’s online poll do not believe an initiative banning gays and lesbians from being foster or adoptive parents should be put on the ballot in Arkansas, the newspaper reported this week.

The Baxter Bulletin Online Poll asked: “Do you think Arkansas voters should be given an opportunity to vote on whether or not gays should be barred from being foster parents or adopting children?”

The newspaper posted the poll question after Sen. Shawn Womack’s bill to prohibit gays and unmarried couples from serving as foster parents or adopting children failed to clear the House Judiciary Committee, prompting the Arkansas Family Council to express interest in pursuing the issue and possibly getting it on the 2008 ballot.

Altogether, the Baxter Bulletin reported, there were 513 votes in the poll. Of those, 345 67.3 percent opposed putting the issue on the general election ballot. There were 168 votes 32.7 percent in favor of making it a ballot. The newspaper stressed that the survey was not a scientific poll, but “simply a vehicle for Bulletin readers to express themselves.”

Comments submitted by Online Poll participants included:

– “Allow the public to speak instead of the politicians telling us what is best for us. Way too much political correctness being rammed down our throats.”

– “Would you want your civil rights put to a vote of the common citizen? Don’t you think as tax-paying American citizens, gays deserve all the rights and responsibilities given to heterosexuals?”

– “Absolutely not the question should never be asked as foster parents should be chosen on their qualifications as parents and guardians, not on their sexual choices what does one have to do with the other? Once, again, Sen. Womack seems to have a difficult time sorting out his religious beliefs from what is in the best interest of all of his constituents.”

– “The issue of gay men and lesbian women being foster parents is an emotional one for many people. The result is that people have a “‘knee jerk’ reaction and make decisions based on propaganda and false information instead of looking at unbiased research and studies of children raised in gay and lesbian homes. For this reason, I believe the issue should not be placed on the ballot.”

– “I do not believe that the voters of Arkansas should be allowed to vote on the issue of gay adoption/fostering. The citizens of the state have shown, in the past, a reluctance to accept some opposing points of view, as well as an astounding amount of conservative sentiment and closed-mindedness. If the measure goes to the public, I am more afraid that it will fail there than in the hands of the Legislature.”

– “Foster parenting should not be limited to heterosexuals only. Singles, couples of any, all orientations can be good parents. Love is love, regardless of who gives it. Children in need do not require parents/love to be from straight couples only.”

– “I think there are a lot of children out there that could really use a decent home to live in. The people in the GBLT community can be researched as well as any other perspective adopter or foster care giver. People should be less concerned with punishing individuals that can live a well-balanced life in society and go after the deadbeat dads and drug addict moms that should not be allowed to have their children in the first place. Don’t shut out any positive love until you act like you care about the negative.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 13, 2007

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