Friday, October 13, 2006

Beebe Failed to Fight Homosexual Adoption When He Had the Chance

Hutchinson: Beebe Failed To Represent State's Interest in Gay Foster Care Case

Attorney General Ducked Responsibilities to Defend

State on Critical Issue

Little Rock – Asa Hutchinson, the 2006 Republican nominee for Arkansas Governor, said today that Attorney General Mike Beebe failed the people of Arkansas by not defending the state against a lawsuit that opened the door for foster children to be placed in homosexual households.

Under Arkansas law, the Attorney General has authority to maintain and defend all interests of the state before the Arkansas Supreme Court unless he has appointed an agent (Arkansas Code Annotated 25-16-704). The Attorney General could have become involved in the gay foster parenting case, but elected not to do so, Hutchinson said.

"The Attorney General has a responsibility to defend the state in constitutional matters, and he should have insisted upon representing the state in this case, but Mike Beebe was conspicuously absent," Hutchinson said. "As the state's chief legal counsel, Mike Beebe either dropped the ball or refused to carry the ball in defending the state in this key case.

"Beebe now wants to claim that he's opposed to gay foster care, but when he had a chance to do something about it, he stood on the sidelines," Hutchinson said. "Can Arkansans believe that he will be more vigilant in fighting for a legislative solution to this issue? His track record doesn't inspire confidence."

(continued- click FRIDAY below and scroll down for article)


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Hutchinson pointed out that the Attorney General's failure to defend the state's policy was particularly significant because of private promises he reportedly made to gay activists that he would support gay foster care – a position at odds with the official position of the state of Arkansas.

The state went on to lose the court case, with its ban on gay foster care being overturned by the Court. Initially, the Attorney General said that the court had ruled and that the state would have to abide by the Court's decision. ("Arkansas Court Says Ban On Gay Foster Parents Unconstitutional," Andrew Demillo, Associated Press, 6/30/06)

However, as controversy grew around the Court decision and published reports about the Attorney General's closed-door meetings with the gay community, Beebe reversed course and claimed that he opposed gay foster care. ("Reality Bites," Warwick Sabin, Arkansas Times, 7/13/06).

Beebe's reversal prompted the gay advocacy organization, the Stonewall Democrats, to accuse the Attorney General of having been dishonest with them. ("Gay Rights Group Says Beebe Misled Them, Withdraws Endorsement," Andrew Demillo, Associated Press, 7/19/06).

"Mr. Beebe now wants to claim that he's opposed to gay foster care – despite whatever past promises he made to the gay community in private – but he clearly abdicated his responsibility to defend the state," Hutchinson said. "The end result is neither what is best for the children of Arkansas or in step with the policy of the state's child welfare officials – all because the Attorney General ducked his duty as the state's lead attorney."

In March 1999, the Arkansas Child Welfare Agency Review Board imposed a state ban on placing foster children with homosexual couples, citing the instability of gay households. In June of this year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenged the prohibition.

With the Arkansas Attorney General failing to defend the state in this case, the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services' legal counsel defended the state regulation. The state lost the case, with the Arkansas Supreme Court striking down the ban.

Following the Supreme Court decision, Hutchinson, Gov. Mike Huckabee and others immediately called for a prohibition to be enacted through legislation.

Hutchinson, a native of Gravette, is a former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, Member of Congress representing the state's Third District, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Undersecretary of Homeland Security, where he oversaw border and transportation security. Hutchinson currently serves as CEO of the Hutchinson Group, a Little Rock consulting firm.

11:20 AM, October 13, 2006  

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