Michigan Court of Appeals Overturns Same-Sex Custody Ruling

The Michigan Court of Appeals overturned a ruling from a lower court last week that would have given same-sex and unmarried partners the right to seek joint custody. Renee Harmon filed the original lawsuit in February, as she was seeking dual custody for the three children she raised with her former partner, Tammy Davis. The Michigan Court of Appeals cited Michigan law in the case, and said that it “doesn’t grant parental rights based on an agreement between two unmarried and unrelated people,” according to the Associated Press. Harmon and Davis had been together for 19 years before they decided to separate in 2008. Davis is the biological mother of their three children, twin seven-year-old boys and a 10-year-old girl, according to Mlive. Davis was impregnated through artificial insemination. The Court of Appeals overturned a decision by a Wayne County Judge, reported the Associated Press. The three-judge appeals panel said that Harmon is not a parent through “procreation or adoption.” Michigan does not permit unmarried couples to adopt children, according to the Michigan Public Radio Network. In 2004, Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment that defined marriage as solely between a man and a woman.


MLive 3/8/10; Associated Press 7/9/10; Michigan Public Radio Network 7/9/10

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