Montana Judge Grants Lesbian Parenting Rights

Gay rights made some headway in Montana yesterday when Judge Ed McLean ruled that a lesbian can have parental rights over two children adopted by her former lover.

Though it was technically Barbara Maniaci who had adopted the tots – a boy and a girl – McLean says that Maniaci’s ex-girlfriend Michelle Kulstad deserves a say in their rearing:

“To discriminate further against Ms. Kulstad because of her sexual preference in this day and age is no different than telling a person to go to the back of the bus because of her skin color,” McLean wrote.

Attorneys for both sides have said the same-sex parental rights trial was a first for the state, whose voters in 2004 rejected same-sex marriage by about a 2-to-1 margin.

The judge said Kulstad must receive joint decision-making authority in the children’s lives, including their health care and spiritual upbringing.

Maniaci, who is now married, was represented by Austin R. Nimocks, a legal counsel for the anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund. How far they fall!