Jump to content
The Talon House

Missouri Ban On Gay Fostering Overturned


Recommended Posts

Missouri Ban On Gay Fostering Overturned

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

February 17, 2006 - 3:00 pm ET

(Kansas City, Missouri) A Jackson County Circuit Court judge Friday overturned a Missouri Department of Social Services regulation barring gays and lesbians from becoming foster parents.

The case involved Lisa Johnston, a Kansas City lesbian who was barred by an unwritten policy which prevented her from taking children into her home because she she is in a relationship with another woman.

Part of the state's reason for the denial was based on a state law banning sexual intimacy between same-sex couples that was rendered unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas two years ago.

In a 16-page ruling, Circuit Judge Sandra C. Midkiff said, "No moral conclusions may be drawn from a constitutionally unenforceable statue."

"We're really relieved that the court has recognized that banning lesbian and gay people from being foster parents is bad for Missouri's foster children," said Johnston, who along with her partner Dawn Roginski had hoped to foster a special-needs child before her application was denied.

"We were saddened when we found out that our loving each other was the only reason the state had for denying us the opportunity to give a child a home."

By all accounts Johnston and Roginski would be exceptionally qualified to be foster parents.

She has a bachelor's degree in human development and family, with special emphasis on child development. She's an educational consultant who also has worked for an organization that trains foster parents.

Roginski, who has a master's degree in counseling and another in divinity, works as a therapist and chaplain at a treatment center for young people with emotional and behavioral disorders.

"The court found that none of the reasons the state gave for blocking an entire group of potential foster parents were justifiable," said Ken Choe, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU's national Lesbian and Gay Rights Project which represented Johnston.

Today's decision is in line with the beliefs of 58 percent of Missouri citizens, according to a recent poll on their feelings about gay parents.

The poll, which was conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates and commissioned by Human Rights Campaign for PROMO, Missouri's statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality organization, found that a majority of people from all over the state are opposed to categorically banning lesbian and gay people from being foster or adoptive parents.

It is expected the state will appeal the ruling.

Currently there are nearly 2,000 children in Missouri in need of foster homes.

©365Gay.com 2006


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...