The state Supreme Court is being asked to decide a custody case between two lesbians, but attorneys on both sides say the core issues go far beyond the rights of gays and lesbians to be parents.

The Court, in essence, is being asked to embrace a doctrine that gives an adult with no biological or adoptive relationship to a child the status of de facto parent, based upon such factors as intimacy with the natural mother and conduct bespeaking parental devotion.

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