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Jason Locy at CNN.com: Byron Babione of the Alliance Defense Fund, a coalition of Christian lawyers, attributed the April ruling to a “political movement afoot to undermine and destroy marriage.” Baptist Press, the publications arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, ran an article that quoted Babione as saying the ruling reflected “a campaign to place adult wants and desires over the best interests of children.”
New American: . . . Babione said the court’s decision tells individuals that “you can go shack up with your boyfriend or girlfriend and that if you decide that you want to play house and have kids, the state has to allow you to come in and seek a child.” He added that it is “mind-boggling that we’ve come to a point in our society where you have a state Supreme Court basically saying that adult sexual desires and wants are the chief end of civil government at the expense of the best interests of children.”
Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review: The ACLU brought the suit on behalf of a group of families, while the Alliance Defense Fund, an alliance of Christian lawyers, defended the law in court.
Michael Foust at Baptist Press: “This can impact other states, and I am sure courts will take notice,” Byron Babione, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, told Baptist Press. ADF represented the Arkansas Family Council Action Committee, Act 1′s sponsor. “There is no doubt a political movement afoot to undermine and destroy marriage as we know it, and to eradicate protections that are in place for children when those protections conflict with adult sexual desires…. This lawsuit was part of a campaign to place adult wants and desires over the best interests of children.”
Wall Street Journal: The Alliance Defense Fund, an alliance of Christian lawyers, defended the Arkansas law in court. The Law Blog caught up with ADF attorney Byron Babione. “The court placed adult sexual acts above the best interests of children,” he said. The court “essentially nullified and vetoed the will of the people of Arkansas who raise families and understand what is best for children and know that children should be placed in homes with married mothers and fathers, which is supported by social science,” he said.
LifeSiteNews: The needs of children outweigh the wants of adults. The court’s decision tragically places more importance on the sexual interests of adults than on protecting children,” said Byron Babione, Senior Legal Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. The ADF was representing the Family Council Action Committee, which fought to get Act 1 on the ballot and approved in 2008. “The people of Arkansas believe that children deserve the most safe and stable home possible. They cast their ballots to ensure that children wouldn’t be deprived of the best possible family environment and decisively approved Act 1 for that purpose only, but the court struck down the people’s will anyway,” Babione said.
Washington Times: “Ark. high court finds adoption law biased against gay couples: Unconstitutionally violates privacy”
Washington Times: Alliance Defense Fund lawyer Byron Babione, who defended Act 1 on behalf of its sponsor Family Council Action Committee, said the high court’s ruling “tragically places more importance on the sexual interests of adults than on protecting children.”
Christianity Today: FCAC was represented by Byron Babione, an Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney. “The court’s decision tragically places more importance on the sexual interests of adults than on protecting children,” Babione said. “The people of Arkansas believe that children deserve the most safe and stable home possible. They cast their ballots to ensure that children wouldn’t be deprived of the best possible family environment and decisively approved Act 1 for that purpose only, but the court struck down the people’s will anyway.”
Eugene Volokh: Adoption and Foster Parenting by Unmarried Cohabitating Couples Who Have a Sexual Relationship
The Arkansas Constitution was interpreted in Jegley v. Picado (2002) as securing a right to privacy, included in which is protection of “private, consensual, noncommercial acts of sexual intimacy between adults.”
One News Now: At the recent oral arguments before the Arkansas Supreme Court, Byron Babione — senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) — explained the law is about protecting kids. “The statute just tried to put children in the safest homes,” says the attorney, “and the other side argues that this violates the right of adults to engage in private sexual acts. It does no such thing — because the state is not trying to go into your home and punish you for what you’re doing. It’s just saying we’re not going to put our children into your home if you are in relationships that are characterized by instability.”
Byron Babione on the Mary Reichard Show: Litigation in the challenge to Arkansas Amendment 1 adoption restrictions
ADF attorney Byron Babione appeared on the Mary Reichard Show to discuss this: Ark. Supreme Court showdown Thursday over law protecting adopted, foster children. | MP3 mins 8:15 mins
Keen News Service: Defense lawyer Byron Babione, representing the Family Council Action Committee, also told the court that the issues in the case were part of the state’s larger policy of defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Act 1, he said, serves to encourage marriage and to channel children into “home environments where they do best” and are “less likely to be subject to risks.”
Washington Times: That is why the court should uphold Act 1, a 2008 voter-passed law that excludes cohabiting heterosexual and homosexual couples from being foster or adoptive parents, said Byron J. Babione, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund. Cohabitation is associated with risks and instability for children, and even biological parents in Arkansas who split up cannot have custody of their children if they are cohabiting with someone, said Mr. Babione, who represented Family Council Action Committee, a major backer of Act 1.
The measure protects children who are adopted or placed into foster care, but an Arkansas judge struck down the law in a ruling last April that errantly characterized voters as attempting to target “homosexual couples…one politically unpopular group.” Act 1 clearly states that it “applies equally to cohabiting opposite-sex and same-sex individuals.”
ACLU: “The American Civil Liberties Union today asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to uphold a lower court ruling striking down a law that bans any unmarried person who lives with a partner, including those in same-sex relationships, from serving as an adoptive or foster parent in the state of Arkansas. In April, the Pulaski County Circuit Court found that the law, known as Act 1, did not serve the state’s interest in determining what is best for children. The state of Arkansas is challenging the circuit court’s ruling.”
ADF attorney Daniel Blomberg on the Janet Mefferd Show to discuss this: ADF: Voter-approved Act 1 adoption, foster care law should be upheld | MP3 audio 19:17 mins
OneNewsNow: “Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and allied attorneys are working to defend Act 1, the voter-approved measure that protects children who are adopted or placed in foster care . . . ‘It says when it comes to foster and adoptive children — those children that are most in need of homes — the state of Arkansas places a premium on putting those children in homes consisting of a married mother and father. The law does not allow children to be placed in unstable cohabiting environments,” explains ADF attorney [Byron Babione].” ADF News Release
Daniel Blomberg on the Mike Gallagher Show: Battling the ACLU in defense of Arkansas’ measure which restricts adoptions by co-habiting couples
Attorneys and allied attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed their opening brief with the Arkansas Supreme Court Wednesday in defense of Act 1, a voter-approved measure that protects children who are adopted or placed into foster care. An Arkansas judge struck down the law in April in a decision that erroneously characterized voters as attempting to target “homosexual couples…one politically unpopular group” even though the law does not do so.
ADF attorney Byron Babione appeared on the Jody Hice Show to provide an update on the Arkansas Act 1 Adoption Initiative litigation. | MP3 5:43 mins | ADF Media information: Cole v. Arkansas Department of Human Services resource page
OneNewsNow: “An appeal is planned to the highest court in Arkansas after a judge there decided to strike down a state law passed by voters to protect children who are adopted or placed into foster care . . . ‘They’re looking to strike down a law that does nothing but protect children,’ [Byron Babione] contends. ‘[It] is a law that’s been passed by an overwhelming number of the people in a direct vote through the ballot initiative.’”
Attorneys and allied attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund will appeal an Arkansas judge’s decision to strike down a state law passed by voters to protect children who are adopted or placed into foster care
OneNewsNow: “The constitutional amendment has to do with placement of foster children, and attorney [Byron Babione] with Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) reports that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is challenging Act 1, a measure passed by voters in 2008. (See earlier story) ‘The ACLU is representing various persons — same-sex couples — to sue to have stricken down a state law that makes sure that foster children are placed in homes where there’s a married mother and father,’ he explains.”
CitizenLink: “Arkansas’ Act 1 that limits foster care adoptions to married heterosexual couples was in court recently. … [Byron Babione], with the Alliance Defense Fund, is defending the law. … ‘I think it will be quick, because we do have a trial date scheduled in this case for May 10,’ he said. ‘So, he would need to decide on summary judgment before that time.’”
The MP3 runs approximately 10 minutes.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: “The law banning unmarried couples from adopting children and being foster parents doesn’t specifically bar homosexuals, but a judge said Thursday that appears to be the key result. Circuit Judge Chris Piazza said he will rule on whether a challenge to the voter-approved law by a group of families will go to trial sometime before the scheduled May 10 start date. [Byron Babione], an attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund, which is representing the Family Council, said the law does not ‘shock the conscience’ and said the state should not have to ‘concentrate on evaluating settings that we know are more likely to produce unfavorable results.’”
Today’s THV: “The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arkansas will ask a Pulaski County circut court to rule in its favor in its challege to Act One, a 2008 law that bans any unmarried person who lives with a partner from serving as an adopting foster parent in Arkansas . . . Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel will also be in court to defend Act One. ‘The need of children for the most stable home possible should not be sacrificed on the altar of the ACLU’s agenda and their attempt to undermine the democratic process,’ said [Byron Babione], who last argued before the court in March of last year.”
Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel Byron Babione and ADF Litigation Counsel Sara Tappen will be available for media interviews Thursday following a hearing in the lawsuitCole v. Arkansas Department of Human Services, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against Act 1