Monday, June 15, 2009

The GA Supreme Court Made Me Smile

Sometimes it pays off to have the news as background noise. 11 Alive just gave a report that made smile. In fact, the news makes me want to give each of the Justices of the Georgia Supreme Court a high five; however, I don't think it would be well received. But you have to admit, it would be a great photo moment to see a happily flaming me high-fiving the seven Justices in their robes. You know you'd pay to see it.

The following is from Sovo:

Ga. Supreme Court rules against ban against allowing kids around father's gay friends

The Georgia Supreme Court tossed out part of a Fayette County court’s decision that kept a divorced gay father from allowing his children to interact with his gay friends, according to a ruling today from the state Supreme Court.

In the ruling, Justice Robert Benham wrote the high court acknowledges that trial courts have the discretion to "limit a parent’s exposure of the children to certain people, if it can be shown that the children would be adversely affected."

In this case, the Supreme Court justices rejected Fayette County Superior Court Judge Christopher Edwards' ban on having the gay father bring his gay friends around his children. Edwards has been nominated to fill the a seat on the state Supreme Court after Chief Justice Leah Sears steps down at the end of June.

“The blanket prohibition against exposure of the children to members of the gay and lesbian community who are acquainted with husband is another matter,” says today's opinion. “There is no evidence in the record before us that any member of the excluded community has engaged in inappropriate conduct in the presence of the children or that the children would be adversely affected by exposure to any member of that community.”

Hannibal Heredia represented the gay father, Eric Mongerson, in an appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court and said the order created an unreal living situation for his client.

“He literally could go into a mall with his and if he saw one his friends he'd have to go the other way, that's how openly worded the order was,” he said today.

The opinion by Benham further states: “The prohibition against contact with any gay or lesbian person acquainted with husband assumes, without evidentiary support, that the children will suffer harm from any such contact. Such an arbitrary classification based on sexual orientation flies in the face of our public policy that encourages divorced parents to participate in the raising of their children…and constitutes an abuse of discretion.” As a result, “we vacate the blanket prohibition against exposure of the children to husband’s gay and lesbian acquaintances."

Click here for the rest of the article.

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