One year ago today, Arkansas voters passed Act One, the Arkansas Adoption and Foster Care Act.  Thanks to this good law, no adoptive or foster children are being placed in homes where there is a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend—gay or straight.  Over 2,700 volunteers gathered over 95,000 signatures to place Act One on the ballot.  The measure passed by 57% of the vote with 568,248 people voting for it.   Arkansas Families First, a coalition of groups that received a majority of its funding from the ACLU, opposed Act One.  They spent over $300,000 trying to defeat it, but failed to do so.  Polling conducted by the University of Arkansas predicted the defeat of Act One, so opponents of the measure seemed stunned when it passed.  Governor Beebe, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, Speaker of the House Robbie Wills, and Lt. Governor Bill Halter all publicly opposed Act One.

The ACLU and other pro-gay groups tried to make this a gay rights issue.  The people of Arkansas recognized that this is a children’s rights issue.   Everyone knows that children fare better in a stable home with a married mother and father.  Fortunately, the people of Arkansas exercised common sense and voted for Act One.

A number of people are still misinformed about Act One.  Today, Governor Beebe commented that he believes Act One has reduced the number of available foster homes.  That’s impossible, since the Arkansas Department of Human Services already had a policy that prevented them from placing foster children in cohabiting homes.  This policy had been in place since at least 2005.  Act One simply wrote into law, what was already DHS policy.    DHS has indicated that they have no evidence that Act One has reduced the number of available foster homes.

Many people are surprised to learn that the fight for Act One is still going on.  Last December, the ACLU filed a lawsuit it Pulaski County Circuit Court.  They contend that Act One is unconstitutional because they believe it discriminates.  Judge Chris Piazza is scheduled to hear the case next May.  No matter the outcome, the case will almost certainly be appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court for a hearing in about a year.   In the meantime, Act One is being enforced by the Arkansas Department of Human Services.