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story.lead_photo.caption Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza presides over an arraignment in January 2009. - Photo by Benjamin Krain

A Pulaski County circuit judge has overturned Arkansas’ law banning unmarried couples living together from adopting or fostering children.

Circuit Judge Chris Piazza said Initiated Act One, passed by voters in 2008, constituted an unwarranted invasion of privacy. The law effectively banned gays from adopting or fostering children because they are unable to legally marry in Arkansas.

He said in his two-page ruling that people in “non-marital relationships” are forced to choose between becoming a parent and sustaining that relationship. Piazza wrote that the act was "especially troubling" in how it singled out the "politically unpopular group."

“Due process and equal protection are not hollow words without substance,” he said. “They are rights enumerated in our constitution that must not be construed in such a way as to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.”

Piazza agreed with claims by families who said the ban lessened the number of available adoptive and foster parents to the point where thousands of children could go without homes.


Judge overturns state adoption law


He said the ban cast “an unreasonably broad net” and did not serve the state’s interest.

The act was passed after the state Supreme Court ruled that the Child Welfare Agency Review Board exceeded its authority by approving a regulation banning homosexuals from serving as foster parents. The court ruled in DHS v. Howard that the regulation was based upon morality and bias.

The American Civil Liberties Union then sued the state in December 2008 on behalf of a group of families seeking to overturn the ban.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Thank you for coming to the Web site of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. We're working to keep you informed with the latest breaking news.

Information for this article was contributed by The Associated Press.


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    April 17, 2010 at 8:47 p.m.

    If being a practicing homo is respectable and perfectly ok, why do you suppose Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed? And when you read that account of those who practiced sodomy and perversion, be intellectually honest and explain it. Neither Christians nor anyone else made rules about moral conduct...God did. To disagree with the Sovereign King and creator of the Universe is to spit in His face. And those who defy His rules and justify their life style by ignoring the truth or denying His authority to set the rules of conduct are putting themselves in serious jeapordy. I personally do not want to experience an eternal burning in a hell that is prepared for you people who choose a life style that is abhorrent to God who made you. And don't say you were made that way...everyone is capable of violating every rule, commandment, or law that has ever been written, but not everyone chooses to do so.

  • AlvinL
    April 17, 2010 at 11:43 p.m.

    God made us all. We are not spitting in His face as you say. He made us.This is where one needs to rightly interept the scriptures. If you take a literal interpretation, then our democracy is unscriptual. The New Testament says " honor the king" so we should only have a king? then there is rendering unto Caesar what is due him, so which is it now king or caesar? You need to rightly interept what is reallly said there.
    There are a lot of contrdictory statments in the Bible. That is where you should interpt it correctly. and your bigotry and hatred is not in God's plan. YOu are putting yourself in serious jeapody by judging others. Our life style as you call it is not abhorrent to God. God is love and He designed all of us. I was born gay. It was not a choice, but the way me and many others were. God designed us that way.

  • NickieD
    April 18, 2010 at 12:47 p.m.

    Well, here we go....
    The lunatic Fundamentalists are at their keyboards again.
    With all due respect for ARA, Alvin and other tolerant Religionists, I'm a real non-believer.
    Quiet; MrD & Nurse represent the very worst things about religion, which is a reinforcing circle of stupidity, in which any fact contrary to the myth they believe, is ignored and kept out.
    Quiet, you are so ignorant, misguided and fearful (of perhaps being gay yourself?), I almost feel sorry for you. But I don't. Your thought processes have been used by religious leaders to pass laws and persecute anyone they feared or envied for centuries. Organized Religion is dangerous because it ends up "brain cleansing" the inside of your skull, putting a nice story in and reducing any possibility of you ever being able to consider you might be wrong in some of your ideas... just some.
    And MrD, please don't drag your Holy Book of Myths into this... there is nothing in your bibble that encourages you to kill or persecute anyone in your god's name. As a matter of fact, there is nothing in your bibble that you can quote, that is born out in any historical records except the fact there were Hebrews in the Mid-east 2 K years ago.
    No one has to BE gay to accept the fact that gay folks exist. Fearing their strange rituals, where it is a known fact they eat their own young, (which is why they always need to adopt), is just plain silly as long as you don't put your own kids up for adoption.
    The real solution to all this is reduce the overpopulation of this planet, beginning with a policy in the US of limiting through non-support, the number of children being born. Oh, I know that is in direct violation to Catholic Doctrine, Fundamentalists and bleeding hearts of every stripe, but it is a viable option to reduce the number of unwanted children in America. Making birth control and abortion (not as a method of birth control, but as an option to unwanted pregnancies ending with more unwanted children) freely available will help this country eventually. This isn't Sarah Palin's gas chambers and murder, it is a reasonable solution to a very big and serious problem facing this country. We have a lot of people, few jobs and dwindling resources. Rationally, logically, (I know Religionists hate to use reason & logic, though they should try it sometime), what is the best course? It will become impossible to continue to support an ever growing population, probably sooner than we know.

  • NickieD
    April 18, 2010 at 7:32 p.m.

    "Goodman": now there is a oxymoron! You and Quiet share the same lack of thought, understanding and facts. Yes facts, you ma-roons! Gay people do not choose to be gay, only a non-reader/thinker could believe something so stupid and ignorant. Poor Nurse, even as she agrees with you, she is just not Religious enough, hateful enough, rigid enough for you, though she seems every bit as stupid as you two are.
    Good Christians like you are the reason I know there is no god, because if The Big Man was there he'd step out of his hiding place and squash you like the bug you are. No real loving god could tolerate someone as stupid as you are or could endure your kind of ignorance, except the Old Test god of revenge, hatred, jealousy and, well... let's face it, insanity.
    Folks like you must be an embarrassment to the other almost rational Believers, but you tight-asses always warm the cockles of my heart by being so narrow minded and just plain out of touch with everything... science, psychology, bathroom manners. Please, I pray thee, continue to lecture me in the true ways of your lard and master and his hatered of all you are so afraid of.

  • johnwmcmaster
    April 19, 2010 at 11:29 a.m.

    Well, things never change. Yes, God loves gays. He just don't love the way they have sex and it is all about SEX.