Same-sex parents’ case gets national spotlight

Times have changed. In the news a few days ago was an interesting case regarding a divorced couple in Hawaii. They have a child. One of the divorcees wants to formally sever parental rights.

What is unusual — and should not be allowed to get in the way of doing what is best for the child — is that the divorcees are two women.

They were married in Washington, D.C., in 2013, then moved to Hawaii. According to court documents, the two had discussed having a child together. In 2015, one partner became pregnant through a sperm donor. The other woman promptly filed for and received a divorce.

Then, she sought to sever parental rights and, presumably, responsibility for the child. A family court refused to approve; the case is being heard by the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Of course, many issues play into the dispute.

“This is a very important and of-the-moment question in the LGBT community right now, which is how are states going to treat parents of children where there [is] a same-sex marriage couple,” commented Cathy Sakimura of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Hawaii’s top court will have to sort out the facts. But the bottom line is that a child has been brought into the world, within the context of a marriage. In general, allowing one former partner to walk away from that responsibility is wrong — regardless of whether the parents were a same-sex couple.

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