Good News: Liberty Counsel Loses

Back in March I wrote a post about how the Liberty Counsel was becoming the right-wing organization of choice for former lesbians who have found Christ and then needed legal help to deny their former partners access to their children.

One of the cases mentioned in the post involved Kimberly Ryan, who was seeking to keep her former deny access to her former partner, Lara Embry.  I was happy to learn that a Florida court has decided in Embry’s favor: 

Florida must recognize gay couples’ adoptions that were granted in other states even though its laws bar granting such adoptions, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday.

A trial court erred when it wouldn’t recognize a former lesbian couple’s adoptions that had been completed when the women lived in Washington state, the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled unanimously. Florida is the only state that prohibits all gays from adopting, but the judges said the U.S. Constitution requires it to give “full faith and credit” to the actions of other states.

While living as a couple in Seattle, Kimberly Ryan and Lara Embry each gave birth to one child. Each then adopted the other’s child as the second parent. They moved to Sarasota and then split up, originally agreeing to share custody.

Ryan then became engaged to a man and cut off contact between her biological child and Embry, saying that under her new Christian beliefs she didn’t think the relationship was good for the child. Embry sued for custody.

Of course, Mat Staver isn’t going to take this basic recognition of a Embry’s right lying down – solely because she is gay – and so they intend to appeal: 

Ryan’s attorney, Mathew Staver, said he plans to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

“Florida law does not allow homosexual adoptions, so logically they shouldn’t be recognized from another state,” said Staver, the founder and president of Liberty Counsel, a conservative Christian legal group.

Nonsense.  Embry had already adopted this child back in Washington and in no way does it “logically” follow that just because Florida doesn’t allow gays to adopt, the legal mother of a child should be denied access to her child simply because her former partner fled there. 

This sort of reasoning is only “logical” if your goal is to destroy parent-child relationships solely because on the fact that the parent happens to be gay.

Honestly, there is almost nothing that the Religious Right can do at this point that has the capacity to shock and appall me, but the insidious disdain groups like Liberty Counsel consistently demonstrate for the rights of gay parents is one exception.