05 June 2009

W.Va. Supreme Court Rules for Same-Sex Couple in Child Custody Dispute

West Virginia's Supreme Court has unanimously ruled "in favor of a same-sex couple fighting to retain custody of an 18-month-old foster child," The Associated Press and others report.

A Fayette County Circuit judge had decided that the child "should be taken away from Kathryn Kutil and Cheryl Hess," and "placed with a heterosexual couple who might adopt her," the article said.

"The court says that was an error," the AP report continues. "The justices say Blake blurred legal principles applicable to abuse, neglect and adoption. Current law, the court says, encourages adoption by qualified foster parents and either Kutil or Hess should be considered - and perhaps favored - as a prospective parent."

The court has posted its ruling. It is unsigned, indicating that it sets no legal precedent but rather relies on prior rulings to reach its conclusions. The court had previously posted all filings in the case, from the parties as well as from interest groups weighing for each side.

No comments: