Illinois Judge Permits Mom to Take Children Far Away from Dad to Live with Lesbian Lover
Illinois Judge Permits Mom to Take Children Far Away from Dad to Live with Lesbian Lover
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   01.08.10

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I apologize for the lurid title, but this is a lurid story.

Every divorced father, every non-custodial parent, and every decent, fair, compassionate person should both tremble and be outraged by the recent feckless court decision of activist Illinois judge, John R. Kennedy.

The now-lesbian ex-wife of Mr. Taro Iwata took him to court in Urbana, Illinois in a successful attempt to take their two young children, with whom Mr. Iwata is very close, to Eugene, Oregon to live with her and her lesbian partner.

Eugene, Oregon–a stone’s throw from the lesbian mecca of Portland, Oregon–is 1,800 miles away from Champaign, IL where both Mr. Iwata and his children currently live.

His ex-wife Karen Kelsky is a tenured associate professor of East Asian Languages and Culture and Anthropology at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) who has decided that her self-serving and disordered desire to live with a lesbian lover across the country trumps her husband’s natural and legitimate desire to be deeply and regularly involved in his children’s lives and trumps her children’s needs, desires, and rights to be deeply and regularly involved with their father.

And apparently Champaign County Judge Kennedy agrees, for he has decided that Kelsky may uproot her children, take them far away from their devoted father, and settle them permanently in a household defined by deviance.

According to attorney Jason Craddock who represents Mr. Iwata, the Court found the following:

that the children’s best interests will be served by allowing the move because 1) the mother will be a “stay at home mom” (ah, yes, the quintessential picture of traditional domesticity: a fatherless home led by two lesbians) while her lover works (even though their standard of living here in Illinois is higher than their standard of living will be in Oregon); 2) the judge views the lesbian relationship as equivalent to a heterosexual marriage (even though neither the state of Illinois nor the state of Oregon views them as equivalent); 3) the judge found that the mother being with her lover will be a direct benefit that will enhance the children’s quality of life; and 4) the judge found that the presence in Oregon of the extended family of the lesbian lover was a factor warranting removal of the children in that neither the mother’s nor the father’s extended family lives close to Illinois or Oregon.

So now interactions with the extended family of a homosexual partner constitute a greater benefit to children than regular, frequent interactions with a loving, committed–and heterosexual–biological parent? That is a radical, subversive, insidious, pernicious, and stupefying idea. Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more.

The Court went even further in its efforts to undermine the fundamental human right of both children and fathers to be intimately involved in one another’s lives: Kennedy decreased the remaining inadequate summer and holiday visitation times.

Attorney Craddock explains that,

Even from a “coldly” legal standpoint, this decision is subversive. It flies squarely in the face of decades of removal jurisprudence in Illinois, as Illinois courts historically and consistently give great weight to the relationship enjoyed between children and their non-custodial parents, and typically allow removal only where the visitation time would either remain the same or increase after the move. Also, Illinois courts have never allowed removal where a custodial parent desired to move to a place in order to move in with a paramour or when such a move would lower the family’s standard of living. Courts have without exception allowed removal only where the new spouse or fiancee of the custodial parent lived away from Illinois and where the standard of living would be increased.

This decision clearly constitutes an activist decision, with Judge Kennedy going boldly where the Illinois legislature expressly declined to go before: the Illinois “civil unions” bill presented in the House of Representatives was soundly rejected this past year. Our elected legislature apparently recognizes a legal distinction between heterosexual married couples and same-sex couples. Judge Kennedy has taken it upon himself to confer legal status where it decidedly does not exist.

This tragic, unconscionable, deliberate rupture in an essential relationship serves the unholy desire of Kelsky who writes this about herself on the U. of IL faculty bio page:

My current work is on the lesbian community and the politics of transgenderism in Japan. I am at work on a book project entitled “The Personal is Personal: Reading the Lesbian in Contemporary Japan,” which is a cultural studies-based exploration of the major lesbian popular texts of the last twenty years, including autobiographies, zines, and pornography. I focus on the major sites of contestation around lesbian identity and subjectivity in this work, particularly around issues of butch-femme and sexual autonomy, coming out, privacy and visibility, and the question of sexual diversity. I have just finished a manuscript entitled “[Not] a Lesbian Feminist: Kakefuda Hiroko and the [Im]Possibility of the Lesbian Subject in 1990s Japan.”

Judge Kennedy’s findings reveal his likely underlying assumptions: he likely holds the unproven, highly arguable, a-historical theory that homosexuality is ontologically equivalent to race and morally equivalent to heterosexuality, whereas in reality homosexuality is both ontologically and morally equivalent to polyamory or consensual incest.

He also likely holds the unproven, arguable, a-historical, erroneous theory that “gender” is irrelevant to both marriage and parenting.

Perhaps most troubling of all is that he has arrogantly decided that subordinating the relationship of father and children to the profoundly disordered relationship of mother and homosexual partner serves the best interests of the children.

It’s a wonder that Kennedy can sleep at night.

Mr. Iwata intends to appeal this execrable decision. Please pray for his victory.

Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins was the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008 through early 2023. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years...
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