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Fathers & Families News Digest July 1, 2005


July 1, 2005



This is a news digest, not a compilation of opinion. Fathers & Families takes no position on the stories reported here unless the context clearly indicates so.


Can you believe this?!

(This section will appear from time to time in order to highlight stories that are just plain ridiculous or downright outrageous.)


Groom Arrested in Restraining Order Madness


A man in Spokane, Washington was arrested immediately following his wedding reception and spent the weekend in jail. The charge? Violating a restraining order his fiancé had taken out against him last year. Both partners had been investigated for domestic violence in the past, but have made up since and decided to get hitched. Even worse, the judge has refused to lift the restraining order. (Thank you to Tom Meyers for this story!)


Go to Washington Post Story






New Hampshire Bill Looks to Put Kids First


The New Hampshire Legislature recently passed HB 640 which aims to help kids avoid the hostility often present in divorce and custody cases. The bill would require that parents go through pre-court mediation and that they have a parenting plan in place to ease the effect on the children. The bill almost made it through unchanged, but a women's group succeeded in adding an amendment that would allow people to avoid custody mediation in cases involving domestic violence.


Go to Portsmouth Herald Story




Connecticut Bill Becomes Law


The shared parenting bill that we spoke about in the last news digest (SB 1194) was passed by the Connecticut legislature last week has become law without the signature of the governor. In Connecticut, any bill passed, but not signed or vetoed by the governor, becomes law 15 days after the end of the legislative session.


Go to SPCC website for more details






McElroy: Congress Should Kill VAWA


Over at ifeminists.com, Wendy McElroy argues that congress should not renew the Violence Against Women Act that is set to expire in September. The act's language defines woman as the only victims of domestic abuse, ignoring the fact that at least a quarter to one half of all victims are men, and thereby excluding any funding for male victims while helping to further bias against men in family court.


Go to McElroy Piece




U.S. Supreme Court Decides Restraining Order Case


The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided in Gonzales v. New Castle that domestic restraining orders do not automatically prompt certain constitutional rights to government protection against private individuals. Had the 7-2 decision gone the other way, it may well have been bad news for those who have been wrongly accused of domestic abuse. Our hope is that this decision marks a beginning to a return to the proper balance between the legitimate need for the protection of women and men in danger versus an overemphasis on protection at the cost of due process. The latter leads to excesses such as false or too-easily-granted restraining orders. This case also raises the question of why fathers' rights organizations were unaware of this case while many domestic violence and women's groups were heavily involved.


Go to csmonitor.com




Judge Dismisses Georgia Class-Action Suit


A federal district court judge recently dismissed a class-action lawsuit initiated by a Georgian petitioner with the backing of the Indiana Civil Rights Council.  The judge dismissed the case based on a lack of jurisdiction.  States are immune to suits brought by their own citizens in federal court. Courts have also dismissed the same complaints brought in New York, Alabama, New Mexico, and New Jersey with more sure to follow.  Update: Similar lawsuits were recently dismissed in Utah and Connecticut as well.






Fäder För Rättvisa!


Fathers-4-Justice has now arrived in Sweden. A man in Stockholm recently climbed up the city's public theatre building dressed as Spider-Man. Although Sweden has some of the fairest family laws, advocates there say that the tide is turning as some feminist groups lobby to change current laws.


For our English-speaking readers

For our Swedish-speaking readers




South Africa Updates Archaic Child Laws


South Africa's National Assembly recently passed a massive piece of legislation that greatly advanced the rights of children. Among the many aspects of the legislation is a component that will allow unmarried fathers to enjoy full parental responsibilities for the first time. The bill will now go on to the upper house for amendment and approval.


Go to Pretoria News Story




Australian Government Responds to Dads' Demands


The federal government in Australia has started to warm up to fathers who wish to spend more time with their children. Legislation will be filed within the coming months that will apply mediation to divorce disputes, improve enforcement of contact orders, require more proof for allegations of domestic abuse, and generally give children more time with their fathers.


G o to 7news Story




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Best Regards,

Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.

Fathers & Families

email: nedholstein@fathersandfamilies.org

phone: (617) 542-9300

web: http://www.fathersandfamilies.org



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