Challenge to ban on gay adoption can proceed in Arkansas

The AP reports that an Arkansas judge has ruled that a challenge to ban on unmarried adoption, fostering can proceed.

The voter-approved ban went into effect Jan. 1. It prohibits unmarried couples who live together from adopting or fostering children. Its authors acknowledge it was aimed at gay people.

The Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit on behalf of more than a dozen families. They argue that the act violates their rights and that its language was misleading to voters.

Stephen Ehrenberg, a New York lawyer representing the families, said the new law already had stopped gay couples from taking in children. The ban also has stopped straight couples from naming a gay relative to take care of their children in wills, he said.

“The blanket solution of (the ban) excludes a much wider pool of foster parents, both gay and heterosexual couples as well,” Ehrenberg said. “That has already harmed children in state custody.”