Nation/World

Lesbian Mother Loses Custody Of Son

The Virginia Supreme Court Friday rejected a lesbian’s plea for custody of her 3-year-old son, ruling that “active lesbianism practiced in the home” could stigmatize the child.

Sharon L. Bottoms, a Kmart clerk who lives in a Richmond suburb, lost custody of her son in 1993 when a local judge ruled that homosexuality “renders her an unfit parent.” Bottoms’ mother, P. Kay Bottoms, had sued her for custody, and had kept the child, Tyler Doustou, throughout the court fight.

Friday, in a 4-to-3 decision, the state’s highest court said that although lesbianism in itself did not make a parent unfit, homosexual conduct is a felony under state law and thus is an important consideration in determining custody.



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