Arkansas High Court Overturns Ban on Gay Foster Parents
Today, the Arkansas Supreme Court invalidated a state policy that prohibited gay people from being foster parents. A unanimous court ruled that there is no link between a child's well-being and a parent's sexual orientation:
"There is no correlation between the health, welfare and safety of foster children and the blanket exclusion of any individual who is a homosexual or who resides in a household with a homosexual," Associate Justice Donald Corbin wrote in the opinion.The policy was instituted in 1999. It also prohibited foster parenting by anyone who lived with a gay person. This meant, for example, that Bill and Carolyn Wagner could not serve as foster parents, even though they wanted to, because their gay son lived with them for part of the year. The ACLU represented the Wagner family and three prospective gay foster parents.
In addition, the court said, the testimony of a Child Welfare Agency Review Board member demonstrated that "the driving force between adoption of the regulations was not to promote the health, safety and welfare of foster children but rather based upon the board's views of morality and its bias against homosexuals."
The court also said that being raised by homosexuals doesn't cause academic problems or gender identity problems, as the state had argued.
Tags: Effects on Families, National Developments