Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon said Wednesday that the state no longer can challenge a Kansas City lesbian’s efforts to become a foster parent.

Lisa Johnston applied for a foster-parent license three years ago and sued after it was denied on the basis that she lacked “reputable character” because she was a lesbian.

Now, though, she can dare to hope, as a new legal amendment is signed and her case is declared moot.

Govenor Matt Blunt, has signed into law H.B. 1698, which amongst other things repeals a long-standing law in Missouri that has been criticised as essentially criminalising homosexuality.

The section of the law that has been deleted read: “A person commits the crime of sexual misconduct in the first degree if he has deviate sexual intercourse with another person of the same sex.”

Gay-rights groups have tried for decades to get the language repealed.

Now that Ms Johnston is now longer legally a “reputable character”, she hopes that she will be able to become a foster parent along with her partner, Dawn Roginski. However, a spokeswoman for the Social Services Department, Deborah Scott ,said it was too soon to know what impact the repeal of this law would have on Johnston’s case. The agency’s policy of denying foster-parent licenses to homosexuals is still in effect, though, “the department is reviewing the case.”

A Circuit Judge, Sandra Midkiff has rules that the State cannot deny Ms Johnston the opportunity to be a foster parent, but the State’s social services plan to appeal.