Ohio law for unmarried parents gives the custody rights to the mother, with total disregard of the father — whether or not he signs the birth certificate ["Ripped at the Seams," September 8, 2010]. Signing the birth certificate only allows the state an easier method of coming in and grabbing the father's income for child support.
Courts, even after parenting plans are set, usually grant the father visitation no more than every other weekend, and possibly only a mid-week visit with their own child.
There are organ-izations that have been working with state legislators for years to try to change these laws, yet the legislators have yet to step up to the plate and pass new laws protecting the equal rights of all fit parents to equal time with their children.
The National Organization for Parental Equality is the leader in this fight to change these laws, not only for unmarried but divorced parents. The close relationship that has been developed has brought an equal-custody bill to introduction several years ago only to have the judges fight its passage. That legislation is coming back — and stronger this time, with support in both houses in Ohio. Many that are currently running for office support this, including Roz McAllister in the 11th House District and Ron Young in Lake County.
How do I know this to be true? I wrote the legislation and am vice president of the organization. Stories like this also bring to the forefront the problem of false allegations that take place in Ohio's family courts. I don't know that to be a fact in this case, but certain things stated in the story have me wondering if there wasn't some exaggeration before the courts to create the problems this man has faced.
Ray Lautenschlager, Vice President
National Organization for Parental Equality
CORRUPTION AND EVIL
Scene writer Michael Roberts provides the world a great service with his overview of the corruption and evil that has defined the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, Cleveland City Hall, the Cuyahoga County Commissioners, and "failed leaders in almost every quarter of the community" ["Port in a Storm," August 25, 2010].
If you have ever doubted the most extreme claims of the failure, incompetency, and corruption of our mayor, county commissioners, and their appointees and co-conspirators in crime, read Roberts' excellent article and realize its observations are direct reflections on all leaders and citizens of the region. Great work.