We have discussed heated child custody battles on this family law blog before. And usually, those involved in such family law dilemmas are only parents. But in a child custody case that has garnered national attention, a pastor is now required to testify in court, as he is suspected of wrongdoing surrounding the kidnapping of a child.
Now 9 years old, the child at the middle of the drama has been in the care of her biological mother since her same-sex parents split up starting in 2003. The biological mother reportedly initiated the dissolution of the civil union and was granted primary custody of the child by the courts. She allegedly went to drastic measures to keep the custody arrangement that way.
The complication in this case stems from the same-sex marriage controversy. Sure, there is the tricky issue of whether all states should recognize same-sex unions that were performed in a state that allows them. The debate gets more heated in this specific case, however, because the biological mother of the child (the other parent's former civil partner) no longer supports a "homosexual lifestyle."
She apparently became passionate about Christianity around the time of the dissolution, and sources say that her beliefs supported her supposed dedication to keep the child away from a lifestyle she no longer approved of. Even though the family law court had granted the non-biological mother visitation rights, the biological mother reportedly didn't allow them.
The court, therefore, ruled that her violations meant that the other parent should have the child, but no such orders were followed. According to a federal complaint, the biological mother fled the country with the child and eventually - with the alleged support of a pastor - was living and hiding in a beach house in Nicaragua.
Sources report that the pastor is scheduled to testify in court regarding the kidnapping. We will post an update when developments in this complex, emotional and controversial case become available.
The Washington Times: "Minister to testify in same-sex marriage," Cheryl Wetzstein, 24 Apr. 2011