Though same-sex marriages are now legal in California and throughout the United States, there are still many groups of people that oppose the legislation. A recent child custody case demonstrates that some individuals will even go so far as to engage in highly illegal activities such as kidnapping in order to further their beliefs. A recent article gives details about the upcoming trial of a man who helped a woman and her child abscond from the United States to Nicaragua in order to prevent a judge from transferring primary custody to the other parent in the relationship.
Despite the fact that the married couple involved two women, the actions of the man in the lawsuit are criminal and unfortunately rooted in religious intolerance of same-sex unions. Due to his personal feelings, the man claims he felt it was ok to take the woman and her daughter away from the same-sex family unit. The man has pleaded not guilty, as he claims that he felt that the two women did not lawfully possess parental rights to the young girl.
The two women joined together in a civil union in Vermont in 2000. After the couple had a child via artificial insemination, they both acted as parents to the girl. When the women parted ways years later, one of the women became an evangelical Christian and renounced her homosexuality. The flight from the United States occurred when it became clear that the courts were going to award custody to the other woman.
A same-sex child custody matter can come in many different shapes and forms. It is a rapidly-changing issue in California that has ramifications that many in the LGBT community might face. It may be constructive to seek legal representation if there is evidence of bias or discrimination with regards to child custody.
Source: ABC News, "2nd Trial in Flight of Woman, Child in Same-Sex Custody Case", Wilson Ring, Sept. 11, 2016