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Maryland court
comes to the rescue of gay family

Maryland court
comes to the rescue of gay family

Discriminatory Virginia custody decision overturned.

A Virginia court decision that tore a gay family apart was overturned by a Maryland court on Monday.

The Maryland decision lifted a Virginia custody restriction laid on gay father Ulf Hedberg prohibiting him from residing with his life partner while raising his son. The Maryland court said the restriction hurt Hedberg's 13-year-old son because the child was confused and saddened as to why his stepfather could no longer live with him.

"This is an important ruling which acknowledges the best interest of the child. The Virginia custody order restricting the couple's shared residence did not benefit the child but instead harmed him," said Hedberg's lawyer, Susan Silber. "Mr. Hedberg is a devoted parent who has done a tremendous job raising his son. We are pleased to reunite this loving family."

Hedberg and his former wife, both Virginia residents at the time, separated when their son was 4. For the next 5 1/2 years, the child lived with Hedberg and his partner, Blaise Delahoussaye, in suburban Virginia. When the boy's mother sought custody of her son, a Virginia court granted Hedberg custody but ordered Delahoussaye to move out of the house, forcing the family to sell their home and Hedberg and his son to move to a small apartment in Maryland.

Virginia permits courts to restrict a parent's custody simply because the parent is gay; Maryland does not. (The Advocate)

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