Ban on unmarried adoptions cleared for Ark. ballot

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- A proposal that would effectively ban gays and lesbians from becoming foster parents has been cleared to appear on this fall's ballot in Arkansas.

The measure would prohibit unmarried couples living together from fostering or adopting children. Arkansas doesn't allow gays to marry or recognize gay marriages conducted elsewhere.

Arkansas' secretary of state has certified the proposal after verifying that the Arkansas Family Council Action Committee had submitted more than 85,000 valid signatures of registered voters. About 62,000 valid signatures had been needed.

The president of the Arkansas Family Council says the state "needs to affirm the importance of married mothers and fathers."

The campaign is a response to a 2006 decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court that struck down a state policy banning gays and lesbians from serving as foster parents.

Several groups call the ballot measure unfair and are threatening a lawsuit.

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

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