Gays seek right to be foster parents in Arkansas

(March 22, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- A case that challenges the state's policy of barring people from being foster parents if anyone in the household is gay goes to court this week. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox is to begin hearing arguments tomorrow and has set aside three days for the proceedings. At issue is whether someone should utomatically be excluded from being a foster parent because that person or someone in the home is homosexual. Only Nebraska has a similar ban. The state Child Welfare Agency Review Board imposed the rule five years ago. Four people are suing the state, including two gay men from Little Rock, a lesbian from Fayetteville and a heterosexual man from Waldron whose gay son sometimes lives at home. They say the review board's decision violates their rights to privacy and equal protection guaranteed by the Arkansas and U-S constitutions.