LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday against Arkansas Act 1, a voter-approved law designed to protect adopted and foster children. In its opinion in Cole v. Arkansas Department of Human Services, the court declared the measure unconstitutional under the state constitution.
“The needs of children outweigh the wants of adults. The court’s decision tragically places more importance on the sexual interests of adults than on protecting children,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Byron Babione, who argued in favor of Act 1 before the court last month.
“The people of Arkansas believe that children deserve the most safe and stable home possible. They cast their ballots to ensure that children wouldn’t be deprived of the best possible family environment and decisively approved Act 1 for that purpose only, but the court struck down the people’s will anyway,” Babione said. “ADF will continue to work anywhere it can to make sure that the ACLU does not get away with destroying marriage and eradicating laws that protect children in favor of adult sexual interests.”
Voters passed Act 1 in November 2008--57 percent to 43 percent. The law reads, “A minor may not be adopted or placed in a foster home if the individual seeking to adopt or to serve as a foster parent is cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of a marriage which is valid under the constitution and laws of this state. The prohibition…applies equally to cohabiting opposite-sex and same-sex individuals.”
ADF attorneys represent the Family Council Action Committee, which carried out Act 1’s successful petition drive and campaign and defended the act along with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office.
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.