SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, September 1, 2005 ( – The Utah Supreme Court heard Tuesday the case of a mother who wants a lower court decision granting parental standing to her former partner, a lesbian, overturned. “I am here to protect my child,” Cheryl Barlow said. “That’s the only reason.”

In a courtroom with standing room only, Barlow’s attorney argued that, “This case is about the right of a natural mother to decide what is best for her child. My client decided what she thought was best for her 2-year-old child and left a relationship and a lifestyle,” said Alliance Defense Fund-allied attorney Frank Mylar.

Barlow and Keri Jones, both Utah residents, obtained a civil union in Vermont five months after Barlow’s pregnancy by artificial insemination in 2001. The civil union is not valid in Utah, where the law ensured that Jones could never have any legal right to Barlow’s child during their relationship. In 2003, that relationship ended after an affair Jones was having with another woman came to light. Jones then sued for parental rights to Barlow’s child. After a brief three-day trial in December, Third District Judge Timothy Hanson ruled in favor of Jones and granted her visitation rights.

“The child’s best interest is not served by enforced visitation with a woman who, according to the U.S. Constitution, state law, and state public policy, has no legal claim for parental standing,” explained Mylar in a release. “Prior to the recent visitation order, she did not have any interaction with the child for well over a year.”

“Unless there’s proven abuse, the wishes of a child’s biological parent should always be given precedence over anyone else,” Mylar said. “It’s unconscionable to take parental rights away from a loving mom to appease the demands of a legal stranger.”

Barlow, a one-time homosexual rights activist in the state of Utah, warned that, “If this goes through, [gay] adoption is next, [eliminating] the constitutional [anti-gay marriage] amendment is next,” according to a Salt Lake Tribune report. Barlow said she is done with the “revolving door” of lesbian relations.

Barlow was charged with “custodial interference,” a third-degree felony, after moving from Utah to Texas in May.

Republican Utah state Rep. LaVar Christensen, also an attorney, was in court Tuesday to observe the proceedings. He said that, should Barlow lose her case, “legislation would be appropriate.”

See Salt Lake Tribune report: