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Nixon drops case over foster child against governor's wishes


Jefferson City, MO. – Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon says the state won't challenge a Kansas City lesbian's efforts to become a foster parent because a new law makes the appeal impossible.

A bill Governor Matt Blunt signed on Monday that toughens penalties against sexual predators also includes language that deletes a long-standing state law banning same-sex sexual relations.

That's one of the key arguments Missouri raised to deny Kansas City resident
Lisa Johnston a license to raise a foster child.

But Department of Social Services spokeswoman Deborah Scott says the case should not be dropped.

"Our attorneys believe that there is definitely a case to be made, that there are other grounds for the case other than the statute that has just been changed," Scott said.

A spokesman for Blunt said the governor strongly disagrees with what he called Nixon's "outrageous" plan to drop Missouri's appeal of a February ruling against the state. A spokesman said Blunt doesn't believe gay parents provide an appropriate environment for foster children.

But Attorney General spokesman Scott Holste says the governor knew the legal basis for the case would disappear if the bill became law.

"The governor and his agencies were well-aware of the implications of this law going into effect prior to his signing it, and so now that it has been signed the appeal has been dismissed," he said.