Kaplan: Michigan Supreme Court Fails LGBT Families...Again
The verdict is in, it seems: LGBT co-parents can have their kids unilaterally taken away from them by their former partner (the legal parent) - and the highest court in Michigan has essentially said it doesn't give a damn.
In denying to Leave to Appeal in our case, Mabry v. Mabry, a state Supreme Court majority -- (and I'm going to name each and every one of them) Justices Robert Young Jr, Stephen Markman, Brian Zahra, David Viviano, and Joan Larsen -- refused to consider the legal ramifications of denying LGBT co-parents the protections of equitable parenthood (which the court has conditioned on marriage) when these co-parents were unconstitutionally denied the right to marry in Michigan, while they were in relationships with their partners.
The ruling came despite an impassioned dissent by Justice Bridget McCormick (and joined by Justice Richard Bernstein) that noted that Deanna Mabry has been a parent to her three children, providing them love, support, affection and financial support.
The dissent aside, the Michigan Supreme Court opted instead for the end result of tearing families apart and allowing children of LGBT parents to lose their mommies at the unilateral whims of the biological parents.
The court's refusal to address the changing legal landscape brought about by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Obergefell v. Hodges marriage-equality decision shows a callous disregard for the stability of LGBT families and the best interests of the children involved in these custody disputes. Once again, Michigan's Supreme Court conservative majority in its unwillingness to consider and appreciate the diversity of Michigan's families has both harmed and let LGBT families down.
But unfortunately, this is nothing new.