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Utah House passes bill banning custody case bias

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Parents would stand on equal footing in custody disputes under a proposal moving to the Senate.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Parents would stand on equal footing in custody disputes under a proposal moving to the Senate.

Republican Rep. Ryan Wilcox of Ogden says there is a long-standing judicial bias towards mothers that is not always in the best interest of children.

Wilcox says House Bill 88, which passed the House unanimously Tuesday, will make it clear that gender, race or religion cannot be considered in custody decisions.

Wilcox is running the bill because of a 3-year-old girl who was killed when her mother crashed their car into a brick wall. The mother had marijuana and OxyContin in her system and eventually pleaded guilty to a felony.

Wilcox says a judge had previously awarded the mother custody despite a history of drug use.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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