Bad news from the Arkansas Times’ blog:

The group that wants to make adoption and foster parenting in Arkansas more difficult (and punish gay people in the process) has announced that it has enough signatures to qualify for an extension in signature gathering for its proposed initiated act.

This is to say that, with almost 62,000 signatures needed, the group has obtained that many, but knows that many will be disallowed, either as improperly gathered or not those of registered voters. Every signature must be individually witnessed. A petition can’t be left in a church vestibule for unmonitored signatures, for example.

Petitioners were out in force in churches Sunday. Some pastors, such as at Little Rock’s predominantly black and powerful St. Mark’s Baptist, urged people in the audience to sign up.

The Family Council Action Committee is behind this benignly named Arkansas Adoption and Foster Care Act, and these fundies are not only going after gays, the bill targets unmarried people as well. They want to make sure there isn’t any co-habitating going on.

1. What is the Arkansas Adoption and Foster Care Act?

The Arkansas Adoption and Foster Care Act is a proposed initiated act. If passed, it will prevent children who are in need of adoption or foster care from being placed with unmarried individuals who are cohabiting with a sexual partner. This act applies equally to heterosexuals and homosexuals. Under this proposal, couples living together out of wedlock would not be allowed to adopt children or serve as foster parents in Arkansas.

2. Will this measure prevent single parent adoptions?

No. This law will not prevent single homosexuals or single heterosexuals from adopting children as long as they refrain from cohabiting. It will have no effect on adoptions that have already occurred.

Below the fold is the incredible litany of lies about gay families.  These people would rather have children living in group homes, left unadopted, rather than be in a loving home where the caretakers happen to be gay. Look at what the Family Council Action Committee says about our families.

In contrast to married households, many cohabiting homes suffer from critical deficiencies. They are more likely to break up. Child abuse is more prevalent. Alcohol and drug abuses are more likely. Children are more likely to suffer from behavior problems, and do poorly in school. They are more likely to live in poverty, and they may lack male and female role models that children need.

…The people of Arkansas should not allow children to be used as a means of promoting the homosexual social or political agenda. In the same way some people have tried to use same-sex marriage as a means of promoting a homosexual agenda, they are now using adoption and foster care. Children should not be used as pawns by any special interest group. Several states have already affirmed that homosexuals may legally adopt children or serve as foster parents. The voters of Arkansas need the opportunity to prevent this from happening in our state.

Oh, and I love how they justify and rationalize their bigotry in this Q&A:

18. Aren’t you trying to impose your morality on everyone else?

We aren’t imposing anything. We are simply placing an issue on the ballot so the people can vote on it. By placing this act on the ballot for a state wide vote we are allowing the people of Arkansas to set the policy. Passage or defeat of the Arkansas Adoption Act has nothing to do with one group or individual imposing their morality. It is about the people of Arkansas being allowed to vote and pass a law.

19. Does this act discriminate?

No. Treating homosexuals the same as heterosexuals is not discrimination. This act treats cohabiting homosexuals exactly the same as cohabiting heterosexuals. There is nothing discriminatory about finding good homes for adoptive and foster care children.

Hat tip, Sarah S.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding