From Steve Rothaus @the Miami Herald:
“Mary Ward, a divorced gay woman, lost custody of her pre-teen daughter, Cassey, in 1995 when a Pensacola judge declared the girl should “live in a nonlesbian world.”
Judge Joseph Q. Tarbuck ruled Cassey’s father would make a better parent — even though John Ward had pleaded guilty to murdering his first wife in a rage over custody of their daughter, who years later said he tried to sexually abuse her.
In 1996, a Florida appeals court upheld Tarbuck’s decision and an anguished Mary Ward, 47, died of a heart attack soon after.
A documentary about the case,UNFIT: Ward vs. Ward, debuts Monday night at the 14th annual Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. The 75-minute movie was produced by Miami Beach filmmakers Edwin Scharlau and Katie Carmichael.