OUTRAGEOUS CUSTODY CASE/LESBIGAY RIGHTS

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OUTRAGEOUS CUSTODY CASE/LESBIGAY RIGHTS

From Randy Edwards, 9-Sep-93 06:30am
From: [email protected] (NY Transfer News)
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I picked up on this on the morning TV news. The Boston Globe irked
me because I had to dig (yet again) to find the story. It was on
page 23!

Below is the news item in the Boston Globe [printed w/o permission]
Wed 9/8/93. Typo's are mine. If anyone has any earlier or local
clippings on this, could you please post or email me. Thanks.
--Sandman
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[Associated Press] A judge gave custody of a lesbian woman's
2-year-old son to the boy's grandmother yesterday, saying the mother's
relationship with her live-in partner "renders her an unfit parent".

The custody case had been watched closely by gay rights activists. It
was unusual because it pitted a nonparent against a mother whose only
alleged parental shortcoming has been her homosexuality.

The Henrico County Circuit Court judge issued his ruling about half an
hour after he ended a daylong hearing in which the grandmother and
mother testifed. Parsons was reviewing a juvenile court judge's March
ruling that took the boy away from Sharon Bottoms because she is a
lesbian.

In the earlier ruling, Kay Bottoms received custody and her daughter
had limited visitation rights. The boy's father was not involved in
the case.

Kay bottoms testified yesterday that the 2-year-old could grow up not
knowing the difference between men and women if he were returned to
his lesbian mother and her lover, April Wade.

The daughter said she herself was harmed by years of sexual abuse from
her mother's live-in boyfriend.

Kay Bottoms told the judge: "I don't care how my daughter lives. But
Tyler will be mentally and physically harmed by this. We can take
care of ourselves. He can't."

She said the child calls Wade "Da-Da." She said that shows that he
could grow up so confused that he couldn't differentiate men from
women.

Kay Bottoms said she saw nothing wrong with raising her daughter and a
son, now 20, while living for 17 years with her boyfriend.

In granting custody to the boy`s grandmother, juvenile court Judge
William G. Boice relied on a 1985 Virginia Supreme Court ruling that
said a parent's homosexuality is a legitmate reason for losing
custody. That case involved a mother who sued her homosexual former
husband for custody of their child.

However, since 1985, about 100 homosexuals have gained parental rights
through the courts in what is called a coparent, second-parent or
same-gender adoption, according to San Francisco's National Center for
Lesbian Rights.