Need an expert on religion in custody cases

Susan Freiman at
Fri Jan 4 02:24:34 PST 2008

".In an extraordinary decision, Judge Camarata denied
the Burkes' right to the child because of their lack
of belief in a Supreme Being. Despite the burkes'
"high moral and ethical standards," he said, the New
Jersey state constitution declares that "no person
shall be deprived of the inestimable
privilege of worshiping Almighty God in a manner
agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience."
Despite Eleanor Katherine's tender years, he
continued, "the child should have the freedom to
worship as she sees fit, and not be influenced by
prospective parents who do not believe in a Supreme

Not exactly religion, but close:

  Success Stories


    Welfare Ministry Wants Adoption Rights for Same-Sex Couples

January 1, 2008

Israel’s Welfare Ministry plans a new initiative that will enable same 
sex couples to adopt babies. The proposal follows the ruling earlier 
this month by Israel’s Supreme Court that the Interior Ministry must 
register the female partner of a mother as her child’s second parent. 
The lesbian couple was represented by flagship NIF grantee *Association 
for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).*

Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog is reportedly encouraged by this and other 
recent legal breakthroughs for Israel’s LGBT community and strongly 
feels that all same-sex couples, even if they do not have a biological 
connection to a child, should have the same right to adopt as 
heterosexual couples. Herzog recently convened a meeting of senior legal 
advisors to discuss his proposal. The plan, undoubtedly, will encounter 
fierce hostility from Israel’s religious parties, including government 
coalition partner Shas, which has already announced its opposition.

Ed Brayton wrote:
> I’m writing an article on religion in custody cases. The jumping off 
> point will be a Michigan court of appeals ruling that came down last 
> week, which can be found here:
> It’s clear from the ruling that religion was not the only factor, but 
> it was clearly a significant one. I’d like to discuss the issue of 
> religion in custody cases more broadly and I need some expert analysis 
> on the subject. I’ve already contacted Eugene off list, but he is too 
> busy at the moment. Is there anyone else who has done some writing on 
> that subject who might be willing to do a brief interview on it, 
> either by phone or email? I need this in the next 24 hours if 
> possible. Please contact me off list.
> Or perhaps I should just post some questions about it here and see 
> what kind of discussion ensues. Here are some starting questions I 
> have in mind:
> 1. How common is this sort of thing in custody cases?
> 2. What are the chances of winning an appeal? It seems to me that 
> appeals courts generally give extraordinary discretion to the lower 
> court judge in such cases.
> 3. Do such rulings create 1^st amendment problems?
> 4. Are atheists or the non-religious generally discriminated against 
> in such cases?
> 5. How have the appeals courts or the Supreme Court handled such cases 
> in the past?
> 6. If you think the current system is unfair, how could it be improved?
> Please don’t respond unless you are okay with being quoted in my 
> article. Thanks.
> Ed Brayton
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