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Stonewall Dems Lift Endorsement Of Beebe For Ark. Gov.

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Stonewall Dems Lift Endorsement Of Beebe For Ark. Gov.

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

July 19, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET

(Little Rock, Arkansas) Stonewall Democrats of Arkansas have ripped into the party's candidate for governor accusing him of misleading and then turning his back on them.

The controversy is over Mike Beebe flip flop over a proposed bill to ban gay foster parenting.

A regulation by the Child Welfare Board banning gay fostering was struck down last month by the state Supreme Court. (story)

Prior to the ruling Beebe met with Stonewall members and according to those at the meeting said he would oppose any legislation to limit gay fostering or adopting.

The position earned him an endorsement from the statewide LGBT Democratic organization.

Immediately following ruling he refused comment on the court decision and a day later announced his support for a bill to block gays and lesbians from serving as foster parents.

"Decisions of foster care should be done in the best interest of the child," Beebe said in a written statement distributed to the media. "I don't think, given today's society and the controversy, it would be in the best interest of the child to be placed in that situation."

At the same time Beebe returned a campaign check from Stonewall.

"He essentially said he didn't want our endorsement," said Jada Walker, the chair of the Arkansas Stonewall Democrats.

Beebe spokesperson Zac Wright disputes members of Stonewall who accuse him of reversing course on the fostering issue.

"Mike Beebe said he would not sign any unconstitutional legislation or be a party to discrimination," Wright said. "Mike Beebe sticks by those statements."

“It is the responsibility of LGBT Democrats to hold our Party accountable on our basic core values," John Marble, a spokesperson for the National Stonewall Democrats in Washington told 365Gay.com.

"The vast majority of Democrats embrace the inclusion of all Americans, but we are required to speak up on the few occasions when Democrats do fail our families. Americans are desperately looking for leadership from the Democratic Party, and any politician who doesn’t posses the courage to lead on issues of equality should not enjoy the support of our families.”

Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee also supports barring gays from fostering. Because of term limits he is not running in November. The GOP nominee - Asa Hutchinson - supports the legislation as well.

©365Gay.com 2006

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