A good thing actually happened today, believe it or not. A Hasidic mother in Brooklyn who lost custody of her three children after coming out as a lesbian finally regained custody, according to JTA.
The move came after two long years of appeals.
Chavie Weisberger was allowed to have custody of her children, ages two through five, as long as she keeps “a kosher home and send her kids to Hasidic schools, the appeals court in the New York borough ruled.” Their father, from whom she divorced three years ago, has weekend visitation and extra visitation on Jewish holidays.
Her ex-husband claims she failed to raise them in a religiously Jewish household.
Weisberger, according to her ex, apparently came out as gay to her oldest child. He also complained that she was living with a transgender man (what a crime!!), gave the kids a book about having two dads, cut their son’s sidelocks, and let them watch a movie about Christmas.
Sadly, even if these grievances sound like petty arguments, a Brooklyn Appeals Court judge ruled in 2015 “that Weisberger violated the requirement to raise her children in a religious environment and awarded her husband full custody.” Even worse, Judge, Eric Prus claimed the children’s religious upbringing was the “paramount factor” in the ruling–which seems absurd, since it has nothing to do with their wellbeing or safety.
Thankfully, a three-judge panel in appeals court ruled on August 16 that the original ruling was in violation to Weisberger’s rights:
“A religious-upbringing clause should not, and cannot, be enforced to the extent that it violates a parent’s legitimate due-process right to express oneself freely. The weight of the evidence does not support the conclusion that it is in the children’s best interests to have their mother categorically conceal the true nature of her feelings and beliefs from them at all times and in all respects.”
I’m just going to leave you with this: