Friday, June 16, 2006

Reason #2 John and I Cannot Live in Arkansas

Reason #1 is because my home state wrote state-sanctioned discriminitation into its constitution (not everyone mind you, just 75% of my home folk don't think my family should have the same rights and protections that my sister's does).

Pam's Houseblend quotes the Pine Bluff Commercial and reveals reason #2:

The Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services is appealing a 2004 decision by Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox, who said it was unconstitutional for the state's Child Welfare Agency Review Board to bar homosexuals from becoming foster parents.

Kathy L. Hall, an attorney for the state agency, told justices that the state already bans unmarried couples who live together from becoming foster parents. Because Arkansas banned gay marriage, a homosexual couple is ineligible to have foster children, she said.

The health, safety and welfare of foster children is of the utmost concern to the state, Hall said, "and that can't happen in a home where unmarried sex occurs."

But Associate Justice Annabelle Clinton Imber pointed out that the state allows single heterosexual individuals to be foster parents, but bans single homosexuals. Hall said that a single heterosexual parent is allowed to be a foster parent because he or she "has the potential" to find a spouse; whereas a gay individual does not.


This is one of those "hidden" benefits of constitutional marriage amendments. The right wing can use it to squash other parts of gay couples' lives and the lives of children who need homes. Judge Tim Fox who handed down the original decision that it was unconstitutional to ban gay people from fostering read the research on gay parents--and there is plenty, this is no "social experiment"--and decided it was definitely in the best interest of AR's children to allow qualified gay people to be parents. There is a summary of the findings at www.wedotoo.org (click here) and a PDF book that describe 40 studies that show kids do just as well with qualified gay parents as the do with straight ones (click here).

What makes me most sad about this case in AR is that one of my best friends from Batesville testified against allowing people like John and me from adopting.


3 Comments:

Anonymous David said...

Troy,
Sorry to read this and most sorry about your friend' stance. I think in times like this that we have to remember that people, and it's esp. hard when it's a friend, have differing views than our own. Doesn't mean we agree with their viewpoint. Then we have to consider whether or not the friendship is worth maintaining vs. their view.

8:20 AM  
Blogger goodwitch said...

Troy, I can't wait for the day the world accepts individual differences and understands the importance of equal rights. My heart breaks for people who are being denied these rights today. I'm speaking up and standing up and voting for equal rights.

Hugs,
The Goodwitch

2:19 PM  
Blogger Troy said...

For some reason I feel hopeful. I think the We Do Too exhibition has something to do with it. Did you get to check out my new website at www.wedotoo.org? It makes me feel better.

6:33 PM  

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