Alabama Strips Lesbian Mother of Parental Rights

If you thought that the U.S. Supreme Court declaring same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states was a sign of full equality for the LGBT community, Alabama is working overtime to prove you wrong. In an effort to stick it to gay people however it can, the Alabama Supreme Court has now stripped an adoptive gay mother of her parental rights.

The case at hand was between a lesbian couple, known to the court only by their initials “V.L.” and “E.L.” The women were together for 16 years. Though E.L. was the biological mother of the three children (all born between 2002-2004), V.L. has helped to raise them since birth and has always been known as “mom” to the kids.

Though the couple has lived primarily in Alabama, the women rented a home in Georgia with the understanding that same-sex couple adoptions were more likely to be approved in the neighboring state, which proved to be true. In 2007, V.L., who was always known as mom to her children, legally became the parent of these kids by Georgia law.

Since recently splitting with her partner, however, E.L. has asked Alabama courts to ignore the Georgia adoption process and grant her sole custody and rights over the kids. While that wouldn’t normally be a winning argument, when a group of homophobic judges were tasked with making the decision, they proved all too happy to deny a lesbian woman rights to see her kids.

According to the Alabama Supreme Court, Georgia law does not permit a second parent to adopt. That’s a strange statement to make considering that Georgia in fact did permit V.L. to adopt her children. In effect, the Alabama Supreme Court is willfully ignoring Georgia’s adoption laws to promote its own agenda.

In his decision, Justice Tom Parker wrote that children need both a mother and a father and that adoption is a privilege, not a right. Despite effectively forbidding a woman from seeing the kids she raised and loves, you can bet these judges made this decision in the name of “family values.”

Only one judge, Greg Shaw, dissented on this case. He’s worried that the ruling establishes a “dangerous precedent” by removing the finality of the adoption process. Because of this decision, heterosexual couples alike might exploit loopholes to take parental rights away from a former spouse or partner.

The Alabama Supreme Court has made it clear – it may have to follow the Constitution on certain gay rights issues, but on every issue where it isn’t explicitly stated by the higher court, it is determined to make life difficult for gay people for as long as it can. Sadly, the fight for equality is far from over.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

95 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Ricky T.
Ricky T2 years ago

Alabama, in this case, not showing it to be the sweet home they sing it to be.

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Janis K.
Janis K2 years ago

Agree with Dorothy M.

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Nena C.
Nena C2 years ago

Cudos to Alabama! children need dad and mother period! thats why Man and WOMAN were created, for each other, period, end of story!

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Renee M.
Renee M2 years ago

Shame on E.L. for pulling this nonsense! In an effort to hurt her ex (which is quite common) she has done a huge disservice to the LGBT community. A real slap in the face.

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Kathy M.
Kathy M2 years ago

It is wrong to do that to a partner. Those kids belong to both of those parents they have the paperwork to prove that. They should have shared custody of the kids.I think the kids should have input on how they feel about the situation .

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pam w.
pam w2 years ago

Although I don't usually READ "Freddy's" illogical rantings, I have noticed that he's often complaining about how poorly women treat men.

Now...knowing what we know about his misogynistic, bigoted attitudes....is there any confusion about WHY a woman might leave him?

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Jennifer Manzi
Jennifer Manzi2 years ago

ridiculous red tape

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Margaret Goodman
Margaret G2 years ago

I'm confused. E. L.'s children are in her sole custody, and she is a lesbian. The children still don't have a father. Or did E. L. promise to "go straight" and marry a man in exchange for the Alabama decision?

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Thomas M.
Thomas M2 years ago

With Judge Roy Boy in charge, I imagine any issue that may surface at the Supremes level will make it most difficult for LGBT parents. The bad news is we will never run out of bigots in positions of power who will use the Bible, their religion and racist attitudes to make life hell for human beings.

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