Judge Grants Rights to Homosexual Partner… Despite Amendment 3
On December 7, third district court judge Timothy Hanson granted visitation rights to, and required child support from, a non-birth partner. The former couple in question were joined under a Vermont “same sex” union arrangement. One partner, Cheryl Barlow, decided to end the arrangement and has sought sole legal and physical custody.
As predicted in our analysis of Constitutional Amendment 3, judges can twist the law, ignore Amendment 3, and rule according to their personal persuasions. This particular judge stretched “in loco parentis” (essentially the concept where the person is considered equivalent to being a parent) as follows:
- “The court sees no legal reason to discriminate in applying the doctrine… to a couple who are in a committed lesbian relationship. The heterosexual or homosexual relationship between the two adults is irrelevant to the doctrine of in loco parentis.”
Source: “Judge says girl is better off with two mothers,” Elizabeth Neff, Salt Lake Tribune, 12/8/2004.
In other words, this judge is attempting to grant equal status and rights to non-birth partners in relationships — be those partners heterosexual or homosexual.
Dangerous precedents like these are commonplace in Utah courtrooms. Amendment 3 proponents are particularly up in arms over this ruling. But they, including Barlow’s attorney, Frank Mylar, also a legal advisor for “Yes! For Marriage”, were given ample notice that there were fatal flaws in their approach.
We also warned Mylar specifically that it is possible for natural birth parents like Ms. Barlow to actually lose rights under Amendment 3, rather than gain rights.
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