Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 41, Ed. 1 Friday, February 24, 2006 Page: 29 of 100
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license to petitioner is unsupported by compe-
tent and substantial evidence upon the whole
record," Midkiff wrote in her 15-page ruling.
"This court also finds that the agency's
decision in denying the foster care license to
petitioner is arbitrary and unreasonable," the
"Ms. Johnston's sexual orientation should
not be the endpoint of the agency's considera-
tion of her application for a foster care
license," she said.
Johnston, 40, of Kansas City, had applied in
2003 to be a foster parent to a child she hoped
to raise with her partner, Dawn Roginski. She
had already started her training when her
application was turned down under what the
ACLU said was an unwritten policy against
allowing gays and lesbians to become foster
"We're really relieved that the court has rec-
ognized that banning lesbian and gay people
from being foster parents is bad for Missouri's
foster children," Johnston said in an ACLU
release announcing the judge's decision. "We
were saddened when we found out that our
loving each other was the only reason the state
had for denying us the opportunity to give a
child a home."
The Department of Social Services said it
planned to appeal Midkiff's ruling.
"The department will be asking the court
for a stay of the decision while this case makes
its way through the appeals process," Deborah
E. Scott, associate director, said in a written
Social Services argued that a child raised by
a same-sex couple might face social disap-
proval> a position that Midkiff said "is unsup-
"The parties all agreed that but for
'her sexual orientation,' the applicant
and her partner have exceptional qual-
ifications to be foster parents."
Judge Sandra C. Midkiff,
Jackson County, Missouri, Circuit Court
ported by competent and substantial evidence,
and is arbitrary and capricious."
The judge also noted that a state law ban-
ning sexual contact between people of the
same gender is constitutionally unenforceable
and that being a lesbian was not enough for
the state to deny Johnston a license based on a
lack of "reputable character."
"To the contrary, the parties all agreed that
but for 'her sexual orientation,' the applicant
and her partner have exceptional qualifica-
tions to be foster parents," Midkiff wrote.
Johnston holds a degree in human develop-
ment and family from the University of
Kansas, with an emphasis on child develop-
Midkiff ordered the agency to resume train-
ing for Johnston and Roginski and to grant
Johnston's license if she passes.
Brett Shirk, executive director of the ACLU
of Kansas and Western Missouri, said he was
pleased by the ruling.
"I never try to make predictions about legal
cases," Shirk said, "but I got the idea while sit-
ting through the hearing, as the arguments
were being made, that the judge was not in
agreement with the state's case."
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 41, Ed. 1 Friday, February 24, 2006, newspaper, February 24, 2006; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth238897/m1/29/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.