Foster Ban Proponents Submit More Petitions

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - Supporters of a proposal that would ban unmarried couples living together from adopting or fostering children turned in another 31,000 signatures today in the hopes of placing their measure on the fall ballot.

The Arkansas Family Council Action Committee said the petitions submitted brings their total number of signatures gathered to nearly 97,000.  Last month, the group fell short of the 61,974 needed to place its proposed initiated act on the November ballot.

The group was given another 30 days to gather additional signatures last month after Secretary of State Charlie Daniels said they had only submitted 58,888 valid signatures from registered voters.

The Family Council campaign is a response to a 2006 Arkansas Supreme Court decision striking down a state policy that specifically banned gays and lesbians from becoming foster parents.

The proposal already faces the threat of a court challenge from opponents who say they plan on suing to keep the measure off the ballot.  A consultant for Arkansas Families First says the group has already found signatures that it believes should have been tossed out as invalid.

Family Council President Jerry Cox says he has confidence in the signatures the committee has submitted, and that he believes it would withstand a court challenge.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)