Controversies: A Victory For Gay Rights

A Victory For Gay Rights

Is a lesbian couple a family? Yes, a Minnesota appeals court ruled last week in a case that has been a focus of gay-rights activism since 1984. Ordering that Karen Thompson, a physical-education professor, be granted guardianship of her brain-damaged lover Sharon Kowalski, the three-judge panel said, "Thompson and Sharon are a family of affinity, which ought to be accorded respect."

Thompson has been fighting for custody since an auto accident left Kowalski brain damaged and quadriplegic eight years ago. Kowalski was in a nursing home under her parents' custody until 1989, when her father concluded that his heart trouble and...

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