Tuesday, September 13, 2016

53 Kentucky Republicans try to take child away from divorcing gay partner because she's not a "husband."

It looks like Republicans in Tennessee have to give up the “small government” myth they’ve worked so hard to establish.
53 Republican state legislators have teamed with a Christian conservative group in trying to become involved in the pending divorce of two Knoxville women who are arguing over child custody.
Are you ready for more of those ridiculously named right wing “constitutional/family” big government special interest groups inserting themselves into everyday Americans personal lives?
The Family Action Council of Tennessee’s legal arm, the Constitutional Government Defense Fund, is representing the legislators in filing a motion to intervene in the divorce case of Sabrina Renae Witt vs. Erica Christine Witt.
It appears a divorcing gay couple is about to harm “Big Government” Republicans:
The motion contends the legislators' "unique and substantial interest in the legislative power and process will be impeded, impaired, and/or nullified" if courts interpret a state law "to apply to any persons other than a man and woman joined together as 'husband' and 'wife.' "
It seems Republicans just can’t fix a law that would give same sex partners the same rights as a heterosexual partners. Instead, this supposed “family” supporting party would rather take a kid’s parent away in what amounts to a legal tantrum:
Knox County Circuit Court Judge Greg McMillan ruled in June that Erica Witt has no legal rights under Tennessee law to involvement with a daughter born to Sabrina Witt through artificial insemination … There is still no state law on the books authorizing same-sex marriages, but they were validated by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year. Tennessee statute dealing with parenting rights in cases of artificial insemination speaks only to "husbands" of the birth mother and does not cover the mother's same-sex spouse.

Erica Witt's attorney argued that, under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the state law should be interpreted to apply to women spouses of the birth mother artificially inseminated child as well as "husbands."

David Fowler, a lawyer who is executive director of FACT said, "this case involves a very important constitutional question: Does the U.S. Supreme Court's Obergefell decision authorize judges to determine for state legislative bodies what policies it must have relative to custody issues in divorce proceedings? If it does, then matters of family law, which have historically been within the constitutional powers of the states to determine, will have essentially been judicially taken from the states and placed in the hands of federal judges," said Fowler, who filed the motion to intervene.

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