Will The Arkansas Supreme Court Uphold The Voter-Approved Gay Adoption Ban?

Approved in a 57-43% general vote in November 2008, Arkansas’ Act 1 (or the “Unmarried Couple Adoption Ban“) prohibits unwed partners from becoming foster or adoptive parents, effectively barring gay couples from becoming legal guardians to any child they aren’t biologically related to. (It also bars cohabitating opposite-sex couples from adopting.) So some twenty-nine plaintiffs, including adults and children, sued, claiming the voter-approved law infringed on state and constitutional guarantees to equal treatment. In April Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Chris Piazz ruled in their favor, deciding the law violated privacy laws. And while Attorney General Dustin McDaniel hasn’t said whether he’d appeal the decision, Jerry Cox, president of the Arkansas Family Council, said he would. The Arkansas Supreme Court has accepted the appeal, scheduling oral arguments for March 17. Any chance the justices are leaning in our favor and will uphold the lower court’s ruling? Somewhat. In 2006, the Court overturned a ban put in place by the state’s Department of Child and Family Services that prohibited gays from becoming foster parents.