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Pennsylvania high
court upholds lesbian custody decision

Pennsylvania high
court upholds lesbian custody decision

The Pennsylvania supreme court will allow a lesbian to maintain custody of twins borne by her ex-partner, Ellen Boring, according to Lambda Legal.

The court let stand a lower court ruling that Patricia Jones is a better parent for the children than her former partner of 14 years. According to Lambda Legal, the two planned to raise children together and had twins. When the couple split in 2001, the women were allowed joint custody, with Boring as the primary physical custodian. The organization reports that Boring's "history of contempt in observing the visitation schedule set by the court and her attempts to unilaterally remove the children" from the state caused Jones to file for custody, which a trial court awarded her.

Boring appealed to Pennsylvania's superior court, claiming that as the biological parent, she was entitled to primary physical custody unless she was found to be unfit. The superior court disagreed, determining that once someone has been granted parental rights, he or she need not prove the biological parent is unfit in order to obtain custody of a child, a Lambda Legal press release said. The superior court also ruled that in custody cases, all nonbiological parents, gay or straight, must be judged by the same standards. Boring appealed the superior court's ruling to the state supreme court, which on Wednesday declined to hear the case, thus letting custody remain with Jones.

Jones was represented by Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights, and Maureen Gatto of the Dorian, Goldstein, Wisniewski, and Orchinik law firm of Bensalem, Pa. (The Advocate)

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