Arkansas passes adoption ban for unmarried adults

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC-TV) - Arkansas voters passed an amendment to create a state lottery. The money will fund college scholarships and grants. Voters also decided unmarried adults who live together can not be foster or adoptive parents.

Almost 60 percent of Arkansas voters supported the adoption ban. The measure has the gay community worried and church leaders claiming victory.

Calvary Baptist Church Pastor Gary Hair said it was the Christian thing to do.

"We feel like it would be disasterous to put a child with those folks," Hair said.

Hair is referring to gay people, because homosexuals cannot get married in Arkansas so partners live together unmarried.

Will Batts of the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center just fought to keep a similar measure off the Tennessee ballot.

The Arkansas vote has him worried about Tennessee.

"It may come up at some point in the future.  Maybe they'll be emboldened by the fact that Arkansas was able to pass theirs," Batts said.

Batts said being gay does not make you a bad parent.

"They raise their kids like everybody else.  They're involved in schools.  They're involved in churches.  They're involved in their kids' lives," Batts said.

But Pastor Hair said homosexuality is unholy.

"If you put homosexuals on an island by themselves they wouldn't produce life.  They'd all die.  It's not normal, it's not life as God wanted it to be," Hair said.

Batts said it is about tolerance.

"I think a lot of those things are really based on fear and not understanding," Batts said.

The pastor said it is about the scriptures.

"We love them. We love homosexuals. They need Christ just like a thief or anybody else needs Christ. Just like I need Christ," Hair said.

The new law also applies to heterosexuals living together.

Batts said it is hard enough for abandoned children to find foster homes.

The Adoption ban goes into effect in January.

Click here to e-mail Kontji Anthony.