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LESBIAN ABANDONS CUSTODY BATTLE WITH HER MOM

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A lesbian who lost custody of her son in a court battle with her own mother abandoned her three-year fight Thursday to get that decision overturned.

Sharon Bottoms said at the start of a court hearing that she was withdrawing her petition to obtain custody of her son, Tyler Doustou, 5. Her mother, Kay Bottoms, had been awarded custody of the child in a case that went all the way to the Virginia Supreme Court and inspired a television movie.She did not immediately indicate the reason for her decision.

In a ruling that angered gay rights advocates, Virginia courts had held that a lesbian lifestyle made Sharon Bottoms an unfit mother.

"We have previously said that living daily under conditions stemming from active lesbianism practiced in the home may impose a burden upon a child by reason of the `social condemnation' attached to such an arrangement," state Supreme Court Justice A. Christian Compton wrote last year.

The high court sent the case back to a lower court to reconsider some issues.

Bottoms and the child's father were divorced, and he has not been involved in his upbringing.