Gay Dad Challenges Limits on Visits With His Children

Maryland Court of Special Appeals to hear argument against biased visitation order

Date

Date: 
09/04/1997

(NEW YORK, September 4, 1997) -- A divorced father is seeking to overturn a Maryland court order that severely restricts his visits with his two young children solely because he is gay, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund said. He will challenge that order at a hearing on Friday.

Argument in Boswell v. Boswell is set for 9 a.m., Friday, September 5, at the Court of Special Appeals, Courts of Appeals Building, Courtroom 1, Annapolis, Maryland.

"We hope the appeals court focuses on the real facts in this case: there were no allegations whatsoever of misconduct or harm to the children that could justify the radical and extraordinary burden imposed by the trial court's limits on this family's visits," said Lambda Legal Director Beatrice Dohrn.

Although neither the mother nor the social worker assigned to the case suggested the extreme restrictions, the trial court ruling in the Boswells' April 1996 divorce ordered that the children have no overnight visits with their father and no visits under any circumstances with their father in the presence of the father's partner or "anyone having homosexual tendencies or such persuasions, male or female, or anyone that the father may be living with in a non-marital relationship."

The father, Robert G. Boswell, is represented in his appeal by Lambda, the oldest and largest lesbian and gay legal organization. Nancy Polikoff, a Lambda cooperating attorney and professor at American University, Washington College of Law, will argue the appeal. Andrea Colender, a Maryland private practitioner, also has assisted in the case.

Boswell, an Anne Arundel resident, is seeking overnight visits with his six-year-old daughter and nine-year-old son every other weekend and the freedom to allow his partner to be part of the visits as well.

Dohrn, Polikoff, and Boswell will be available outside the courthouse following the hearing.

No. 1466, September Term, 1996

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