Tennessee appeals court upholds rights of lesbian mom

A three-judge panel of the Tennessee Court of Appeals has unanimously ordered a trial court to reconsider a ban preventing a divorced mom from having her partner of 10 years and her own children stay overnight at her home at the same time. The trial court had imposed the so-called “paramour clause” on the lesbian couple even though the psychologist who performed the custodial evaluation in the case found the partner to be a positive influence in the children’s lives. The American Civil Liberties Union represented Angel Chandler in her appeal of the restriction.

“I’m so grateful that the judges understood it was a mistake to treat my partner like she was some sort of stranger to me and my children,” said Angel Chandler. “My partner is great with my kids, and they love her very much. To have to send the person I love and have built a life with away at the end of every day when the children were with us has been a terrible drain on our entire family.”

Chandler and her former spouse, Joseph Barker, have two teenaged children: a daughter, 14, and a son, 16. Chandler and Barker have shared custody of the children over the nearly 11 years since their divorce. Chandler has been with her partner since 1999, and Barker remarried approximately five years ago.

Article adapted from original news release

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