Mississippi Supreme Court Rules Lesbian Has Parental Rights to Woman’s Child Following ‘Divorce’

Photo Credit: Lambda Legal

JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled that a lesbian woman has parental rights to her former “spouse’s” son even though she is not the boy’s biological mother and her partner has gone on to marry a man.

All nine justices disagreed with a lower court ruling that stated that child’s other parent is the sperm donor, and that the boy has a father even if he is absent since two women can never conceive a child together.

The justices said that since sperm donors do not possess parental rights under Mississippi law, to conclude otherwise “would disrupt the familial relationships and expectations of Mississippians who have conceived children” via in vitro fertilization.

“For one, it would elevate the rights of a donor—who is a complete stranger to the child, and likely never will be identified—over the rights of a person who has known and cared for the child,” wrote Justice David Ishee.

“At bottom, to deny Christina the relationship she has built with Z.S. would be a miscarriage of justice,” he said.

As previously reported, Christina Strickland had been seeking equal custody of Kimberly Day’s six-year-old son Zayden, who was conceived in 2011 via artificial insemination while they were in a lesbian relationship. The two, which had “wed” in Massachusetts in 2009, separated in 2013 and officially were “divorced” in 2016.

Day went on to marry a man, Mitch Paul, who sat in the courtroom with his wife while the Mississippi Supreme Court heard oral argument in September. Strickland says that after Day married Paul in 2015, she stopped allowing her to see Zayden and a teenage boy that Day adopted in 2007.

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During the divorce proceedings in October 2016, Rankin County Chancery Judge John Grant gave sole custody of Zayden to Day, stating that while the boy was “a child born during the marriage” he was not “a child born of the marriage.” Read the ruling here.

“Zayden has got a natural father somewhere,” he wrote. “The court hasn’t seen anything placed before it to show that the natural father’s parental rights have been terminated. The court questions: Is the natural father not Zayden’s father, even though he is an absent one? The court is of the opinion the natural father is Zayden’s father.”

“That the court therefore concludes that Zayden is a child born during the marriage, not of the marriage, because the conception of Zayden is impossible between two females,” Grant continued. “The court concludes there is a natural father. The natural father may never come into court. He may never be known, and probably won’t be, but he is still a father; and that is a right that our Supreme Court has recognized for many, many years.”

While he concluded that Strickland does indeed have rights to visitation as she had a “bond” with Zayden in helping to care for him—and ordered her to pay child support—Grant gave sole custody to Day.

However, on Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that Strickland should be recognized as the co-parent of the child because of the relationship the two had and their intentions to raise a child together. They also disagreed that the male donor should be considered Zayden’s father.

“[W]e hold that under Mississippi law, an anonymous sperm donor does not possess any parental rights in a child conceived through the use of his sperm,” Ishee wrote. “And to that end, the chancery court erred in finding that an anonymous sperm donor here was Z.S.’s parent, whose rights were subject to termination.”

The case has been remanded back to the lower court to determine the specifics of child custody.

The late author and preacher A.W. Pink once said, “Why does the sinner choose a life of sinful indulgence? Because he prefers it. Man chooses that which is according to his nature, and therefore, before he will ever choose or prefer that which is divine or spiritual, a new nature must be imparted to him: in other words, he must be born again.”

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  • Reason2012

    Adults continue to permanently turn away from homosexuality, even after decades of believing the lie they were “born that way”, proving it’s not genetic, but the product of indoctrination, confusion, mental instability and/or abuse.

    Homosexual behavior is most literally pointed out as a sin, and God has not changed on that regard. But if a person has those inclinations but does not act upon them, does not dwell in lust upon others, but is instead struggling against them to avoid them, then it’s not a sin. It’s just like sinful inclinations of any kind: it’s acting upon it when it becomes a sin.

    And this is what God says about sin and specifically the behavior of homosexuality:

    Romans 1:26-27 ”For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: (27) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their_lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ”Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [men who willingly take on the part of a “woman” with another man], nor abusers of themselves with mankind [s odomites], (10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

    1 Timothy 1:9-10 ”Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, (10) For_whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind [s odomites], for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;”

    Jude 1:7 ”Even as_Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

    Luke 17:29 ”[Jesus said] But the same day that Lot went out of_Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.”

    Matthew 19:4-6 ”And he [Jesus] answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, (5) And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? (6) Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

    Jesus made it quite clear God made us male and female so that a man will leave his father and mother (not two fathers, not three mothers and so on) and cleave onto his wife (not his husband and so on).

    The Word of God rebukes us all – even if we all try to say we don’t believe the Bible, the very Word of God will be our judge when we face Him. And God is a righteous judge and will judge us all – not turn a blind eye to our sin. Do not be deceived by the world: it’s God we will have to convince that His word was a lie, not men. What happened in Noah’s day when the entire world rejected God? Did God spare them because there were so many? No – they all perished except for Noah and his family!

    Proverbs 9:10 ”The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”

    God spared not His chosen people – we are kidding ourselves if we think He will spare the United States of America if we choose to blatantly turn away from Him.

    Jeremiah 12:17 ”But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the LORD.”

    Luke 17:28-30 “So also as it was in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; (29) but the day Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from the heaven and destroyed them all. (30) Even so it shall be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”

    Romans 1:18-32 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold [suppress] the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

    For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

    Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, m urder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

    The entire Bible points out men having_sex with men is an abomination. Likewise woman having_sex with women. It’s not just Paul that pointed it out.

    Genesis 19:4-13 “But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of S odom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them [men wanting to have_sex with men].

    And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing [he offers his daughters to be_raped to keep them from having_sex with another man – shows_rape is not the issue but male on male_sex]; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

    And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

    And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.”

    These two messengers were sent to destroy that place before the event where they tried to_rape these messengers.

    Leviticus 18:22 “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

    Leviticus 20:13 “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination …”

    Even cross-dressing is an abomination:

    Deuteronomy 22:5 “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”

    Deuteronomy 23:17 “There shall be no_whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a s odomite of the sons of Israel.”

    1 Kings 22:46 “And the remnant of the s odomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land.”

    1 Kings 15:11-12 “And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. And he took away the s odomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.”

    2 Kings 23:7 “And he brake down the houses of the s odomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.”

    Ezekiel 16:49-50 “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister S odom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.”

    And the “pride” parades about homosexuality are more of the same.

    Even Jesus points out marriage is a man and a woman.

    Matthew 19:4-5 “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?”

    Not father and father. Not mother and mother. Not his husband.

    And only two people of opposite gender can become “one flesh”.

    Live forever, people – not temporarily only to be cast out for living for the things of this world.

    May God/Jesus Christ be glorified!

    • John O

      thanks for the work. i copied it all

      • Reason2012

        God’s Word is always a blessing to us all!

        • Susan Perelka

          AMEN! Gods truth is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Every generation in history has tried to pick a sin that is supposed to be the exception, in other words calling what God says is evil is good, and what God says is good is evil. The enemies tactics are always the same, “Did God really say…….” My answer to him is YES God did say it! AND I believe it! ALL of it which is contained in His Word. All have sinned and fall short of His Glory. We all have something to repent of. There is no acceptable sin in Gods eyes, I don’t care what society says. He is the Creator, He has the right to determine the rules, not the created. To God be all the Glory! AMEN

          • LynnRH

            And AMEN again! Hallelujah, praise the Lord God Almighty!

          • Susan Perelka

            Oh, how we love our LORD. Oh, the richness of His mercies. Oh, the beauty of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What love, what sacrifice! He is most certainly WORTHY OF ALL PRAISE! Worthy is the Lamb of God. Won’t it be amazing when we will be in our glorified bodies, singing praises to Him. What will it sound like? How full will our hearts be? I can’t wait! Come Lord Jesus!!!!! As the apostle Paul said, the things we suffer here will fade away when we are in His prescence. No more pain, no more tears, no more sorrow. Only perfect LOVE! Oh, how I can’t wait until I see Him. No more unrighteousness! AMEN

  • james blue

    This is consistent with parental rights in divorce. If a heterosexual couple used a sperm donor because the male was sterile he would still have parental rights in the divorce even though he is not the biological father.

    • They are mentally and spiritually ill perverts and should not be allowed to have any contact with children.

      • james blue


        • What specifically don’t you agree with?

          • Tristan Fry

            How about everything you said?

          • james blue

            Sexuality and faith have zero to do with being good parents. Sexuality and faith have zero to do with mental stability

          • Romans 1:18-32 New King James Version (NKJV)
            God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness
            18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
            24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
            26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
            28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,[a] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving,[b] unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

          • james blue

            Doesn’t change the fact that sexuality and faith have zero to do with being good parents. Sexuality and faith have zero to do with mental stability.

          • Evidently you did not read what God said in the passage I posted.

          • james blue

            I did. and I stand by my reply to it.

          • Brian Curtis

            They’re not going to answer you, James. They can’t.

          • How very sad for you and those in your sphere of influence.

          • james blue

            Better mine than yours.

          • You do not believe God and His Holy Word therefore those whom you have infected with your ungodly views are in spiritual danger of believing a lie over the truth.

          • james blue

            I’ll gladly stack my lifetime of morality against yours.

            And I’ll leave it to God to decide what to do with your bearing false witness as to my beliefs.

          • I am the worst sinner ever born. I am saved from my disgusting sins through the Blood Atonement and Holy Spirit of Christ.

          • james blue

            I’ll gladly compare my life of morality against yours and leave judging on you bearing false witness regarding my beliefs to God

          • Susan Perelka

            James, you are not for the things of God, but the things of man and you are giving an inaccurate representation of God to others. That is a bad place to be. I strongly beg you to stop before you reap what you have sown. God is not mocked, what you sow, you will reap.

          • james blue

            You know zero about me, but how nice that you think you can proclaim judgement.

          • ♥LadyInChrist♥InGodITrust♥

            Amen and Amen.

          • Susan Perelka

            Than God Himself is resisting you. You need to repent and turn back to Him.

          • james blue

            I speak to God, but never claim I can speak FOR him.

          • Susan Perelka

            We (disciples of Christ) are His ambassadors who do speak for God, according to what God Himself has disclosed in the entire counsel of His Word, the scriptures. God had sent us for this very purpose, to proclaim His truth. James, be careful, you may think you are speaking to God. However, it could be a fallen angel disguising himself as Gods spirit. The only way to know for sure is to test whatever it is telling you to Gods word, the entire counsel in His word, Old and New Testament, accurately handling and dividing His word of truth. Gods spirit would NEVER contradict His word, However, a deceiving spirit would, because their agenda is to get you to doubt what God says. To lead you away from God. Everyone here is concerned for you because of the things you have been saying. They are not in agreement with Gods word. You are in danger.

          • ♥LadyInChrist♥InGodITrust♥


          • Susan Perelka

            Then it is not Doug you are replying to, but God Himself.

          • james blue

            Nope I’m replying to Doug

          • Susan Perelka

            We either believe God or we don’t. We are either in faith or not. There is no in between state. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. The humble believe what God says, all of it. It’s that simple. If you don’t believe His Word, then He is resisting you. That is a choice we make, either walk in pride or humility. Again, no in between.

          • james blue

            A gay person who raises a child, feeds him, clothes him, gives him a home, makes sure he is respectful, takes interest in his education and health doesn’t do so because he or she is gay, he or she does it because he is a good parent. The same applies to heterosexuals.
            It also applies to bad parents. It’s not their sexuality that makes them bad parents.

            Look up Sherin Mathews, a beautiful young girl adopted by heterosexual Christians and tell me she was better off in that home than she would have been in a home with gay adoptive parents.

          • Susan Perelka

            But the Creator set the boundaries for His creation. We are the created, not the Creator. If we reject His boundaries, then we are in “rebellion” against the one who Created us. That’s the root here, rebellion, sin against Him. When we do “what is right in our own eyes” we are in pride, usurping the LORDS authority to determine how things ought to be in His creation that He made, but it all belongs to Him, not us. That is the core of all the different types of sin, rebellion against Gods AUTHORITY. That is why we ALL have sinned and fall short of His Glory, we went our own way, did what was right in our own eyes, not His. We are rebels against the Owner of it all. We will have to answer for it one day. But in Gods love and justice, He sent Jesus. Be grateful He is a merciful God and His mercy is greater than His wrath against our rebellion. His judgement is coming. He has provided a way so that you don’t have to be under His wrath, but it comes only through Jesus. In humility, you have to bow to His rightful authority. If you do that, He will save you from His wrath to come. It really is that simple. IF you are rejecting His boundaries, which He has set in place, you are in rebellion against Him. However, while you have breath in your lungs, God in His mercy is giving you a chance to repent (which means change your mind) and agree with His ways, stop doing what is right in your own eyes. If you will humble yourself and seek Him, you will find Him. If you remain in arrogant pride, He will blind your eyes to His truth. It’s all by Gods grace (undeserved favor), but it only comes through faith in Jesus. Faith is agreeing with God. Pride makes excuses for their sin, which is doing what is right in your own eyes. Humility agrees that they have sinned against the Creator and changes their thinking to align with Gods ways. That’s true repentance. Go to Jesus while there is still time. God will close that door eventually, don’t hesitate.

        • John O

          Matthew 6:24 (ESV)
          24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

          God’s law over man’s law all the time. just takes time to accept that.

          • james blue

            So is raising a child in a non Christian home child abuse? An atheist raising children is child abuse, A Muslim raising children is child abuse, a Hindu raising children is child abuse?

            We do not live in a theocracy. I’ve seen enough reports of Christian parents abusing children, I’ve seen enough reports of heterosexual parents abusing children.

          • John O

            1 Corinthians 5:11-13 (ESV)
            11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
            12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
            13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

            this is a Christian website. u are trying to promote abominations from civil courts and pretend that is law.

          • james blue

            Not pretending it is law, it actually IS law.

          • John O

            what question. equal rights means same law for everyone. exec order 13139 denied veterans rights. guinny pigs. i happened to get caught up in that. so did the doctors that didn’t agree. your perverted rights that u claim as law destroyed the constitution. i think u know all that. u just enjoy promotion gays and abortions and call it law.

          • james blue

            “what question” ???? This one —

            “So is raising a child in a non Christian home child abuse? An atheist raising children is child abuse, A Muslim raising children is child abuse, a Hindu raising children is child abuse?”

          • John O

            u obviously don’t understand equal rights. one law for everyone. period.

          • james blue

            You obviously haven’t read the full conversation or are replying to some complete other post.

          • Susan Perelka

            God’s laws will always supersede man’s laws. HE is the Creator, man is the created. It is as simple as that. You can either accept it or not. However, you will stand before Him one day and give an account. Will you be under His Grace or His condemnation? Will Jesus have paid the penalty for your sins or will you have to pay that penalty yourself, forever? God has sent His ambassadors to tell you of the FREE gift God is offering you through Jesus Christ. You can reject it, but what excuse will you give God when you stand before Him. You will stand condemned and I don’t want that for you, either does the Lord. Choose wisely while you still have time.

  • Kevin Canuckster

    Pray for these children as they suffer the most through all forms of the broken family. It is not true that they easily bounce back from these family traumas.

    • ♥LadyInChrist♥InGodITrust♥

      I agree we need to be praying for children in all broken homes.

    • Susan Perelka

      Abba Father, We ask for Your intervention in these children’s lives, all across our nation. We ask that though their father’s and their mother’s have forsaken them, You yourself will teach them Lord. Take what is meant for their harm, and turn it for good. Heal the trauma they have endured because their caregivers are doing “what is right in their own eyes”. I ask that You would have mercy on those in darkness, and forgive them, and convict them by Your Holy Spirit of their sins and their need for Jesus. We hope that they will listen to You and turn to You for salvation. Thank You Father, for the privilege to stand before Your throne of Grace because of the sacrifice of Your beloved Son, our Lord and our Savior Jesus Christ. Hear our petitions that we ask of You. Help these young ones. Thank You for Your help. AMEN

  • Ira Pistos

    Child abuse in support of evil.

  • All who make up the LGBT are mentally and spiritually ill as their perversions indicate. They have no business being allowed to be around any child for any reason. This is a form of child abuse and must be stopped.

  • LynnRH

    Omgosh! How crazy, mixed up our world has become. Please Lord God don’t tarry much longer. Please come and get us out of here!

    • ♥LadyInChrist♥InGodITrust♥

      In Jesus Name, I agree.

  • Brian Curtis

    No need for the scare quotes. The two women were married and are now divorced. Maybe your church doesn’t recognize their union, but who cares? The law is what counts.

    • Susan Perelka

      God cares. He is grieved by how we choose sin and destroy ourselves and others. He is offering a way out of that cycle of self destruction. It’s through Jesus.