Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Two More Cases for Marriage

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Two More Cases for Marriage

Article excerpt

As the battle for the recognition of civil unions intensities, two court cases are underscoring the importance of marriage.

One case involves an Atlanta-area woman who joined with her lesbian partner in a Vermont civil union last summer, hoping recognition of her relationship would stick down South.

However, since the ceremony, Susan Freer has not been able to visit her three sons, who have been in her ex-husband's custody since the two divorced 5 1/2 years ago. The reason: Under their separation agreement, either parent jeopardizes visitation or custodial rights if they are living with someone who is not their spouse or their relative.

Freer is arguing that the civil union should qualify as a marriage. She lost her case before a lower court January 30 but learned in April that the Georgia court of appeals will hear the case, probably in the fall. If Freer prevails, it would be the first time a Vermont civil union is validated by another state. …

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