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Ark. court: Act 1 promoters can defend law against ACLU attack

Judge grants motion to intervene filed by ADF attorneys on behalf of Family Council Action Committee
“Just Who do We Think We Are?”

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — At a hearing Friday, an Arkansas court granted a motion to intervene filed by attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of the Family Council Action Committee to join the state of Arkansas in defending Act 1 against a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The law, which voters passed in last year’s November election, places the benefits to children of being in the best possible home environment ahead of the desire of unmarried, cohabiting couples to adopt.

“Act 1 was officially approved by voters last November, but the ACLU is asking the court to undermine the democratic process, which would deprive children of the optimal family environment,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Byron Babione, who argued before the court Friday. “Research and experience shows that a home environment consisting of unmarried, cohabiting adults is not the best way to ensure the long term well-being of children. We should respect the voice of the people on this matter, and that’s what we will argue in court.”

The Family Council Action Committee successfully carried out the petition drive and campaign for Act 1, resulting in voter approval by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent. Act 1 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 of this section applies equally to cohabiting opposite-sex and same-sex individuals.”

ADF-allied attorney Martha Adcock of the Arkansas Family Council is serving as local counsel in the case, Cole v. State of Arkansas, which is pending before the Circuit Court of Pulaski County, Second Division.

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. ADF President Alan Sears is co-author with Craig Osten of the book The ACLU vs. America (