Focus on the Family seeks impeachment of pro-gay judge
May 08 2004 12:00 AM ET
Focus on the Family is demanding notes, e-mails, and phone records from legislators who voted against impeaching a judge involved in a custody case concerning a lesbian mother. The Colorado Springs, Colo.-based antigay Christian ministry has also requested Gov. Bill Owens's correspondence under the state's open records law. Owens, who opposes same-sex marriage, spoke against impeaching Denver district judge John Coughlin.
Focus on the Family lobbied for the resolution, sending thousands of supporters e-mails asking them to contact the committee. The ministry, also a worldwide broadcasting and publishing concern, believes gay men and lesbians violate Christian principles and denounced Coughlin's ruling in a case involving two women who adopted a child while in a lesbian relationship.
Cheryl Clark was the official adoptive parent because Colorado doesn't recognize adoptions by same-sex partners. She became a Christian after leaving the relationship with Elsey McLeod and wanted sole custody of her daughter, but Coughlin awarded joint custody. The judge ruled that Clark would have sole decision-making authority over the child's religious upbringing, but said she must not teach the child anything that would be considered homophobic.
Proponents of impeachment argued the judge violated the religious freedoms guaranteed to Clark and her daughter. They also accused Coughlin of legislating from the bench. Clark has filed an appeal with the Colorado court of appeals challenging the prohibition on homophobic teachings and McLeod's legal status as a parent.