Given the outrageous recent statements by the state's right-wing and anti-gay former governor, the timing is exquisite. An Arkansas judge overturned the state law that bans unmarried couples from adopting or fostering children. The judge overturned the found the voter initiative was unconstitutional, reports ArkansasNews.com.
"Act 1 unconstitutionally burdens non-marital relationships and acts of sexual intimacy between adults by forcing them to choose between becoming a parent and having any meaningful type of intimate relationship outside of marriage, Circuit Judge Chris Piazza ruled in a lawsuit challenging the initiative voters approved in 2008. 'It infringes upon the fundamental right to privacy guaranteed to all citizens of Arkansas,' he wrote in a two-page order in the suit brought by the ACLU. Piazza sided with the ACLU in its argument that the ban reduced the pool of potential adoptive and foster parents to the point where many children could go without homes. The ban casts'“an unreasonably broad net' and does not serve the state’s interest, the judge said."
In December 2008, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state on behalf of several families seeking to overturn the ban. Act 1 was approved in November 2008, two years after the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned the child welfare policy that prevented gays from adopting.
Florida is now the only state that explicitly prevents gays and lesbians from adopting.