Thursday, June 08, 2006

Missouri may no longer block lesbian from becoming foster parent

[Finally - blogger is letting me post!]

Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon says a bill signed into law this week makes it impossible for the state to challenge a Kansas City lesbian’s application to become a foster parent.

The bill signed by Gov. Matt Blunt repeals “a longstanding Missouri law that essentially criminalized homosexuality.” The Kansas City Star reports:

“The governor’s signature took away the last argument of the state in this case,” said Scott Holste, a spokesman for Nixon.

The ACLU, which is representing the woman, applauded Nixon’s position.

“Every major mainstream child welfare and health organization opposes laws that ban lesbian and gay people from parenting because social science proves that lesbian and gay people are just as capable of being good parents as anyone else, said Lisa Brunner, ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri cooperating attorney. “Making so many new foster homes available by ending this senseless and illegal ban is wonderful news for the children of Missouri.”

The Kansas City woman won her case against the Missouri Department of Social Services in a district court in February. However, the state appealed. The ACLU noted that the appeal was based on the claim that the “state law banning sexual intimacy between same-sex couples meant that gay and lesbian people were unfit to be foster parents.”

Nixon’s statement that the case is dead would appear to clear the way for the woman to become a foster parent, but a spokesman for the governor called Nixon’s stand “outrageous.”

The case is complicated by the fact that Blunt, a Republican, and Nixon, a Democrat, are both running for governor in 2008.

Stay tuned for further developments.

See also the Yahoo News report on the case.

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