Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lesbian Behaving Badly (in a non-sexy way)

So much Lesbians Behaving Badly news.  I believe the term LBB was adopted by LGBT lawyers to describe cases where lesbian moms attempt to use a often homophobic legal system to deny a partner (and mom) custody rights. I've previously complained about this issue here.  This weekend, the NYT had a long investigative article about Lisa Miller's abduction of her own daughter in an attempt to deny the child's other mother, Janet Jenkins, access to the child.  Legally, this case was positive for gay families, with even a Virginia court eventually ruling that Vermont courts jurisdiction to rule in favor of custody rights for Jenkins, however, because of the abduction Jenkins lost everything.

In the Bates v. Bates case out of Georgia, another ruling in a lesbian custody dispute made the future of second parent adoption in that state look very shaky (thanks Nicole Bates).  This editorial in the GA Voice explains why these cases have the potential to hurt all gay parents.  Sigh.

In happier LBB news, in this case from New Mexico, a lesbian mom whose partner sought to deny her custody will be allowed to try and prove that she is legally the child's mother through the doctrine of "holding out" as a parent-similar to the concept of Common Law marriage, by acting publicly as the child's mother, she has legally become the child's mother.  However, this case only allows her to move forward with her claim, so she still has a long road ahead.

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