Saturday, April 28, 2012

Unfit: Ward vs. Ward; story of how Pensacola judge awarded custody of girl to killer dad over gay mom

Mary Ward, a divorced gay woman, lost custody of her pre-teen daughter, Cassey, in 1995 when a Pensacola judge declared the girl should “live in a nonlesbian world.”
     Judge Joseph Q. Tarbuck ruled Cassey’s father would make a better parent — even though John Ward had pleaded guilty to murdering his first wife in a rage over custody of their daughter, who years later said he tried to sexually abuse her.
     In 1996, a Florida appeals court upheld Tarbuck’s decision and an anguished Mary Ward, 47, died of a heart attack soon after.
     Read more in Steve Rothaus' account of this entry in the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

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