Black and white photograph of two faces with an outer white edge with black text on it.
In December of 1975, in the case Risher v. Risher, Mary Jo Risher of Dallas lost custody of her 9 year old son to her former husband, Douglas. He stated a change in the living circumstances in Mary Jo’s home as reason for filing, referring to her partner of two years, Ann Foreman. The Rishers’ older son testified against Mary Jo, an action that many jurors cited as a main factor in their decision. This case brought national attention to the issue of custodial disputes relating to sexual orientation.
In January of 1976, the Dallas chapter of the National Organization for Women formed a “Friends of Mary Jo Risher” fund to help cover the legal fees that she and Ann were expected to accrue as they appealed the court’s decision. In 1977, after a number of appeals, Mary Jo was still unable to regain legal custody of her son.
DeLuna-Owsley. A. (2018 July). Risher v. Risher. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved from https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/jrr05
Klemesrud, J. (1976 January). Lesbian Fights to Get Son Back; Seeks Funds Here for an Appeal. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/1976/01/31/archives/lesbian-fights-to-get-son-ba...