Appeal over lesbian denied child custody
A custody case involving a lesbian mother has taken a strange turn in Georgia, where officials from the American Civil Liberties Union have stepped in to urge court officials to dismiss a county judge’s contempt order and jail sentence against the woman.
Earlier this year, Wilkinson County Judge John Lee Parrott ordered that a seven-year-old be removed from the home of Elizabeth Hadaway after discovering Hadaway is gay.
The 28-year-old paramedic assumed custody of the girl more than a year ago at the request of her biological mother.
More recently, the judge found Hadaway in contempt and ordered her to spend up to ten days in jail.
“I just want this nightmare to be over so that Emma can have the security of knowing we aren’t going to be torn away from each other again,” Hadaway said in a statement released today.
“No parent should be treated the way I’ve been treated by the legal system, and no child should be taken away from her home and sent to live with strangers because she has a parent who’s gay.”
“Judges should treat all citizens who come before them fairly, but Judge Parrott appears to have acted out of anti-gay bias in the way he treated this little girl and her mother,” added Ken Choe, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s national Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project.
“We hope that the Court of Appeals will agree that Elizabeth Hadaway has done nothing wrong and dismiss this charge that has been hanging over her head so that she can concentrate on taking care of Emma.”