In her Oct. 18 column, "Utah takes small, slow steps on gays," Rebecca Walsh asserts that the Utah Supreme Court recently denied a "lesbian mother's request for visitation with the daughter she had helped raise from birth."
As one of the lawyers who assisted with this case, I can state that this assertion is incorrect. The daughter in question had no biological, adoptive or legal link to the woman requesting visitation with the child. In fact, she was not the "mother," but at the time of the girl's birth, was a live-in partner with the girl's actual and biological mother.
If you take that rationale to its logical conclusion, a live-in boyfriend, who may have only known a child for seven months or so, could claim to be a "parent" and demand visitation. Once you start extending visitation rights to individuals who have no biological, adoptive or legal link to a child, you open up a Pandora's box of issues that will ultimately destroy the rights of biological or adoptive parents.
The issue was not denial of visitation to an "aggrieved parent," but instead was sleight of hand to advance an agenda that seeks to redefine the family until it has been reduced to meaninglessness.
Senior legal counsel
Alliance Defense Fund
After reading it, I was frustrated as all hell. So, I decided to write my own letter to the editor, and it was published in today's paper.
Joe Infranco (Forum, Nov. 6) wrote about parent custody. I believe that denying equal rights to same-sex relationships is exactly where the Pandora's box comes from. If two women could choose to legally define their relationship, then the nonbiological mother would have either had the rights of a parent, or those of a live-in boyfriend.
By denying same-sex partner rights, the question of what makes a parent must be raised, or equal rights given to same-sex partners in all areas regarding relationships.
People, such as Mr. Infranco, who believe that this pursuit "seeks to redefine the family until it has been reduced to meaninglessness," must not understand what a family is. Families provide children a safe place to grow, learn and explore. Until they see this, they condemn children to having that safe place ripped out from under them when they are told that "Mommy isn't Mommy," and these children may grow up without understanding how to provide loving families for their own children.
Mr. Infranco would better give meaning to family if he would put the children ahead of his own intolerance.
Salt Lake City
The article by Rebecca Walsh is here.