The conservative Christian legal group Liberty Counsel is aiding a Denver ex-gay adoptive mother in a battle against the woman’s female former partner, who had joint parenting rights and retains visitation rights with their eight-year-old adopted daughter.

As a condition of receiving sole custody of the child, the mother had been warned by the judge to “make sure that there is nothing in the religious upbringing or teaching that the minor child is exposed to that can be considered homophobic.” It isn’t clear from the media coverage what was meant by “homophobic.”

Now, in addition to defending the mother’s freedom of religious expression, Liberty Counsel is seeking to sever the former partner’s visitation rights.

This whole situation stinks across the board. The Liberty Counsel may be right about the mother’s religious expression being stifled. But the LC response is to crush the partner’s and child’s religious freedoms. The LC appears willing to deny the child the benefit of having two parents — despite the organization’s opposition to single parents.

Both sides of this broken family could seek out a win-win-win solution for the former partners and the child. But with national pro-discrimination groups like the LC taking up the cause, an amicable settlement that respects the child’s ties to both parents seems unlikely.

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