July 12, 2011
Ohio Rejects Same-Sex Custody Rights By 4-3
From the web page of the Ohio Supreme Court:
The Supreme Court of Ohio today upheld lower court rulings that a biological mother who acknowledged her same-sex partner as a “co-parent” of her daughter while the two women were in a relationship did not permanently give up her sole custody of the child to create legal shared custody with the partner.
In a 4-3 decision authored by Justice Robert R. Cupp, the Court affirmed a 1st District Court of Appeals ruling that competent, credible evidence supported the Hamilton County Juvenile Court’s judgment that although Kelly Mullen of Cincinnati shared the responsibilities of parenting her daughter Lucy with former partner Michele Hobbs while the women lived together, Mullen’s actions did not confer on Hobbs a permanent right to shared custody of Lucy after her relationship with Mullen ended...
Justice Cupp’s opinion was joined by Justices Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Terrence O’Donnell and Judith Ann Lanzinger. Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justice Paul E. Pfeifer entered separate dissenting opinions.
In her dissent, which was joined by Justice Yvette McGee Brown, Chief Justice O’Connor wrote that because the statutory and case law applicable to Hobbs’ claim is well established, and the majority decision established no new governing principle, she would dismiss the appeal as having been improvidently accepted for review.
The opinions are linked here. (Mike Frisch)
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