Creep of the Week: Family Council of Arkansas

By D'Anne Witkowski

Family Council of Arkansas

There's a line in Ernest Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" that comes to mind whenever I read about right-wing ploys to ban gay and lesbian couples from adopting children: "Isn't it pretty to think so?"

Without going into a heap of literary analysis, it can be loosely interpreted to mean, "If only real life was the same as the fantasy life in my head."

In the fantasy world the Family Council of Arkansas operates in, all children are born to happily married heterosexual couples and live in a home where the woman has a juicy pot roast on the table by the time the man comes home from work. After dinner they play Scattergories: Bible Edition and thank God that icky homosexuals aren't snatching away foster children from good heterosexual families like them (not that this particular fantasy family has any foster children, but still).

It's a world that doesn't exist. Sure, a few families may live like this, but they're the exception, not the rule. Which is why legislation based on FCA's fantasy world is so reckless.

On Aug. 23, the FCA took the first steps to get a ballot proposal on the November 2008 general election ballot. According to the Arkansas News Bureau, the proposal would prevent children from being adopted or placed in a foster home "if the individual seeking to adopt or to serve as a foster parent is cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of a marriage which is valid under the constitution and laws of this state."

This proposal comes on the heels of an unsuccessful bid before the state legislature to ban gays from being adoptive or foster parents. In other words, the FCA is widening its scope and seeking to limit the pool of prospective foster families even further.

You see, FCA's bid to specifically ban gays from adopting had, to put it mildly, "constitutional problems." The Arkansas Supreme Court said as much.

Jerry Cox, president of the Arkansas Family Council, said the new proposal manages to fix the problem by going after a larger group of "sinners."

"As we studied the issue, we realized that we could accomplish pretty much everything that needed to be done by simply addressing the issue of cohabitation rather than bringing in 'heterosexual' or 'homosexual,' either one," Cox told the Arkansas News Bureau. "The best place for a child to grow up is in a stable home with a mother and father. That's the ideal situation. If the state of Arkansas is going to go out and deliberately create families, they ought to create good ones."

Because all it takes to make a "good" family is married heterosexuals. And if kids have to languish in the overburdened foster care system in order to land one of these spots, so be it.

Of course, if they don't ever get placed they can always set out on their own as 18 year-old adults who've never known a stable home. But at least they won't have had to suffer the indignity of living with a couple of fornicators.

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