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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Alternative adoptions to appear on ballot

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

No, to unmarried couples fostering or adopting children, is the cry in Little Rock according to an Associated Press release.

The issue, aimed at gays and lesbians, is going to be on the November ballot. But, there are those who oppose it as being unfair and discriminating and they are threatening a lawsuit.

Secretary of State Charlie Daniels certified that the Arkansas Family Council Action Committee submitted 85,389 valid signatures of those supporting the issue being on the ballot. The committee only needed 61,974 signatures.

"Arkansas needs to affirm the importance of married mothers and fathers," said Jerry Cox, Family Council president. "We need to publicly affirm the gold standard of rearing children whenever we can. The state standard should be as close to that gold standard of married-mom-and-dad homes as possible."

The group was able to come up with more signatures after the secretary of state said they didn't have enough last month. State law, however, allows an additional 30 days to gather more signatures.

According to the Arkansas Family Council Action Committee's Web site (www.familycouncil.org), the council's mission is "to promote, protect and strengthen traditional family values."

Currently, Vermont, New Jersey, Massachusetts and California are the only states allowing same-sex couples to adopt.

Arkansas Family First is against the issue of banning unmarried couples from adopting or fostering children. The group plans to file a lawsuit to keep the issue from appearing on the ballot. The group claimed last week that there were many signatures on the petition that should have been rejected.

"We're going to work very hard to defeat this because it is just bad policy for children," said Debbie Willhite, a consultant for the group.

According to the Arkansas Families First Web site (arkansasfamiliesfirst.org), the group believes the initiative "works against the best interests of children who need loving homes. We can all agree that children should be placed in loving permanent homes where they can be nurtured and raised in an encouraging environment. We ought to be making that easier, not harder, to do."

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