A child’s best interest

As posted by the New York Tiimes Editorial Board on NYTimes.com:

"Children need loving homes. Prejudice shouldn’t stand in the way of that. So it is welcome news that a state judge in Arkansas has struck down a pernicious 2008 state law that barred qualified same-sex couples and other unmarried couples living together from serving as adoptive or foster parents.

"Arkansas voters approved the measure, known as Act 1, after the Arkansas Supreme Court invalidated a regulation barring gay people from becoming foster parents. The broader ballot measure applied to all unmarried couples, but it was clear that the primary intent was to exclude gay couples from consideration.

"It followed a mean-spirited campaign by anti-gay activists that depicted the desire of same-sex couples to provide adoptive or foster homes as part of a nefarious 'homosexual agenda' somehow threatening to children.

"The measure was discriminatory and heartless — ruling out potentially loving homes in a state that needs homes for children. A 2009 report by the Arkansas Department of Human Services found 517 children awaiting adoption but only 228 adoptive homes available.

"Judge Chris Piazza was right that the ban cast 'an unreasonably broad net' and made it harder for the state to do 'what is in the best interest of the child.'

..."He was also right to be troubled that 'one politically unpopular group' had been 'specifically targeted for exclusion by the act.'” ...

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