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An Ohio judge has ruled that lesbian mothers must share custody of their 8-year-old biological daughter. The judge found that evidence supports the claims of Julie Rose Rowell that she and biological mother Julie Ann Smith were life partners with an agreement to raise the girl together. Smith plans to appeal the case to a domestic relations judge and will appeal even further if necessary. The couple split up in 2008 and Rowell filed a petition for shared custody after Smith refused to allow her contact with the child.
Representatives of Equality Ohio delivered more than 80,000 signatures calling upon the Union-Scioto School District to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their anti-harassment policy. Ohio resident Bret Thompson launched the Change.org petition after watching the assault of a 15-year-old gay student in a cell phone video (see below) that went viral immediately following the attack.