Husband Mark's immediate response to this decision was "Good. It will give conservative groups more issues to devote their time and money against." He then noted that it signaled that courts still aren't significantly cowed by Iowa's 2010 anti-retention campaign that knocked out three of the Supreme Court justices who upheld the Varnum v. Brien case and signaled the end of Iowa's DOMA law.
It wouldn't surprise me if Arkansas' social conservatives tried once again to creatively ban gay couples from foster parenting and adopting. Frankly, I don't understand why they keep it up. How many times can you keep getting knocked down before you move on? Also, there are thousands of kids nationwide needing foster and pre-adoptive home. Are there that many foster and pre-adoptive parents in Arkansas that they can eagerly shut the door on a whole class of potential applicants? If a particular couple isn't safe, they either won't pass their initial home study or they'll likely get washed out during their first couple years -- assuming the state adequately supports the social workers who oversee those families.
Anyway, I passed on the following message to every legislator that session: Iowa is already short on foster families. Instead of getting rid of effective foster parents who are currently stepping up to the plate, put your time and energy into recruiting new foster parents who ascribe to your values so that placement workers have more homes to choose from instead of less.
This country needs more foster families, not fewer foster families. If the citizens of Arkansas are upset with this Supreme Court decision, I hope that they spend less time attacking gays and lesbians and more time signing up to become foster parents for the needy children of their state.