Mom’s Apple Pie: The Heart of the Lesbian Mothers’ Custody Movement
| Our Rating:
L Factor: Lesbian Film
Short Take: A time when lesbians were not considered fit mothers
Duration: 61 min
MPAA: Not Rated
|Director: Jody Laine, Shan Ottey
Starring: Shan Ottey, Kate Clinton
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Mom’s Apple Pie: The Heart of the Lesbian Mothers’ Custody Movement follows the stories of five lesbian mothers fighting for custody at a time when lesbians were not considered fit to raise their own children. It is narrated by Kate Clinton.
Having lived through the 1970’s as a lesbian mother, I can attest as to the truth of the horror stories depicted in the film. Like many of the mothers in the film, I too, was ridiculed, maligned, and called every degrading name imaginable. At that time, I did not know about the Lesbian Mothers National Defense Fund (LMNDF), and since I could find no attorney to represent me (not even one single lawyer would take my case), custody of my son was given to his father for no other reason than his mother was a lesbian. This practice was a matter of routine in the courts during that period of time. Injustice for lesbian moms was not only commonplace, it was prevalent. As the film repeatedly points out, it was a painful and oppressive time for lesbian mothers and their children.
I felt a kinship with the lesbian mothers who spoke in the film and with the members of the LMNDF and, of course, with the group’s little newspaper, Mom’s Apple Pie. The haunting notes of Baby Child brought back so many excruciating memories for me, yet there was joy in actually seeing how the LMNDF, a tiny movement, just a small band of women dedicated to helping lesbian mothers get custody of their children, progressed to enlist the support of attorneys and judges all across our country. Then they went on to create high visibility for the rights of not only lesbians but all women and gay men to be qualified parents. Through their efforts and those that followed in their footsteps, parenting eventually became a human right rather than just the right of a traditional married husband and wife.
This film has integrity; its message has the ability to raise the consciousness of anyone still thinking that lesbians and gay men should be denied their rights as parents.
– Lanie Dills