Thursday, August 6, 2015

Nebraska ban on gay foster parents overturned by state district court judge

Here's yesterday's press release from the ACLU of Nebraska:
LINCOLN, Neb – Today a Nebraska District Court Judge ruled that Nebraska’s discriminatory treatment, policy and practice, toward gay and lesbian foster parents is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause. The ACLU of Nebraska, the ACLU LGBT Rights & HIV Project, and the New York law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell filed suit on behalf of three same-sex couples who wanted to be foster parents for children in Nebraska. The policy stems from a 1995 memo, "Memo 1-95" issued by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Statement from Danielle Conrad, Executive Director
Nebraska is the last state in the U.S.
to specifically ban gay foster parents.
     Nebraska's motto of 'Equality before the Law’ rings out more truly for all of us on this thrilling day. This is a special victory for thousands of children in Nebraska who now have more options to find loving and stable homes.
     The couples in our case, like thousands of other gay and lesbian Nebraskans, have demonstrated their ability to provide loving homes for children. We are grateful for the court's unequivocal, broad, and positive opinion in favor of LGBT Nebraskans constitutional rights to be full participants in our child welfare system.
     Nebraska finally joins America in ending state sponsored discrimination in policy and practice that hurt Nebraska families and that prevented children in need from accessing loving and stable foster families.
Here's what the judge wrote (entire ruling is on ACLU's page, linked above):

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