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Tue July 26, 2011
Courts say same-sex partners do not have custody rights
The state Supreme Court has refused to take the case of a lesbian woman who wants the right to visit the children she helped raise with her ex-partner.
The court’s decision lets stand a lower court ruling that same-sex partners do not have custody rights in Michigan.
Renee Harmon and Tammy Davis were together for 19 years, and during that time started a family together. Davis served as the biological mother via artificial insemination to their three children. After the relationship broke up, Harmon was denied visitation and sued for parenting time.
Michigan does not recognize same-sex relationships - nor does it allow unmarried couples to adopt.
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Harmon lacked the legal standing to sue.
The state Supreme Court allowed that decision to stand by refusing to take the case.
The court divided on party lines in its decision. Republican majority voted not to take the case. Democrats said the court should.
In her dissent to the order, Justice Marilyn Kelly wrote the case raises so many questions regarding the state constitution and parents’ rights that it “cries out for a ruling from the state’s highest court.”