A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals of Virginia ruled on November 24 that the Fairfax Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court had properly accorded full faith and credit, as required by the U.S. Constitution, to a North Carolina judicial decision awarding primary legal and residential custody of a child to two gay men (who are registered California domestic partners). Still pending before the lower court is a demand by the woman who served as surrogate mother for this child that the North Carolina custody ruling be modified to give her sole custody. One of the judges on the Court of Appeals argued in dissent that the case was not properly before the court for review. Prashad v. Copeland & Spivey, 2009 Westlaw 4030852 (Va.App., Nov. 24, 2009).12/05/09 Volokh Conspiracy:
It’s true that most parenting relationships arise within a marriage, and while most court orders determining parental rights happen as a result of the breakup of a marriage. But parenting rights and marital rights are legally quite different. Unmarried opposite-sex couples generally have much the same parental rights as do married couples (setting aside some special problems of proof), and the same access to child custody adjudications. There’s no reason to read bans on same-sex marriage as precluding the recognition of same-sex couples’ custody rights.