Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ohio Supreme Court Asked To Rule On Religious Evidence In Support Proceeding

Spero News reports on a petition for writs of prohibition and mandamus filed with the Ohio Supreme Court of Sept. 12 by Marie Macfarlane, a family law activist who has conducted a campaign against no-fault divorce. The petition in Macfarlane v. Tanner (full text) challenges a ruling made by a Cuyahoga County magistrate in a child support proceeding brought against Macfarlane by her former husband who was awarded custody of their four children. Magistrate James Tanner refused to permit Macfarlane introduce evidence that she and her husband agreed to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church in their relation to each other, including the belief that women should not be required to work outside the home. Tanner’s ruling said: “This court is constitutionally forbidden from evaluating the religious convictions of either party…. For this court's decision to be motivated by a conviction that either party's religious belief is in the best interest of the children would implicate the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Religious Freedom Provision of the Ohio Constitution.”