The day in 2002 when Ulf Hedberg won a legal fight with his ex-wife and was awarded physical custody of his son should have been a happy one for him.
Instead, Hedberg calls it a "cruel victory."
That's because the Virginia judge who named Hedberg the custodial parent attached a life-altering restriction: Hedberg, who is openly gay, would be barred from living in the same house where he and his partner had been raising the boy, who is now 12.
At the time of the ruling, in 2002, the couple had been living together for 6 years. The ruling was prior to the Lawrence v. Texas decision, and was based on the presumption that a gay couple living together would automatically be engaged in illegal activity (namely, sodomy). Post-Lawrence, that analysis shouldn't hold up.
The lawyer for the ex-wife claims that she did not request the court's order to ban Hedburg's partner from living with him. However, she opposes the lifting of the order, on the grounds that "she does not want his homosexual lover to move back in," and that she "does not believe this person [the partner] is anything to her son." Note the rhetoric involved: "homosexual lover," which implies that this is merely an eight year long fling (because homosexuals can never enter into meaningful relations) and "this person" (as opposed to a respectful "Mr. Delahoussaye").
Hurray for "family values"!