Group discloses adoption ban petition signers online in Arkansas
Posted on April 30, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
LITTLE ROCK — A Massachusetts gay rights group Tuesday posted on the Internet the names and addresses of more than 83,000 Arkansans who signed petitions last year to put a gay adoption ban on the state ballot, action the leader of the ballot initiative condemned as “pure intimidation.”
KnowThyNeighbor.org said it intended to make petition signers accountable for their support of the measure that prohibits unmarried couples who live together from adopting children or serving as foster parents in the state.
Though the new law affects all unmarried cohabiting couples, the sponsoring organization made no secret the measure targeted gays. It received 57 percent of the vote in the November general election.
“(They) need to stand behind their signatures and be responsible for this dehumanizing attack on the gay community,” KnowThyNeighbor.org’s director, Tom Lang, said in a release. “It’s disgraceful that they have chosen to exercise their prejudice at the expense of children who are now being denied access to loving adoptive and foster parents. Such activity must be challenged and cannot be allowed to pass under the cover of darkness.”
The group accessed the information from the Arkansas secretary of state’s office. Petition lists are public information under state law, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Charlie Daniels said.
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