LeDOUX v. LeDOUX was a 1990 Nebraska Supreme Court
decision.  Carolyn R. Wah submitted an amicus curiae brief
on behalf of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New
York, Inc., the parent corporation of the Jehovah's
Witnesses.

Edward LeDoux and Diane LeDoux were married in July
1977 at a Catholic Church. Two sons were born during the
marriage; in 1981 and 1985.  Both sons were baptized into
the Catholic faith.  By the time of trial, the older son had
started attending a Catholic parochial school. In July 1985,
Edward LeDoux converted to the Jehovah's Witnesses
religion.  Diane LeDoux and Edward LeDoux separated on
April 1, 1986.  In April 1987, Diane LeDoux filed a petition for
legal separation, requesting custody of the two children.
She moved that Edward LeDoux's visitation rights with the
parties' children be restricted and structured. Following a
hearing on Diane LeDoux's motion, the trial court entered a
temporary order on April 29, 1987, granting Edward LeDoux
reasonable rights of visitation. He was ordered not to
involve the minor children in any of his WatchTower
religious activities. A subsequent motion filed by Edward
LeDoux requesting that his minor children be allowed to
accompany him to his Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's
Witnesses was denied by the trial court. Edward LeDoux in
a cross-petition asked for dissolution of the marriage.
In the divorce decree entered December 17, 1987, the trial
court  placed custody of the parties' two minor children with
Diane LeDoux.  After
establishing a specific visitation schedule, Edward LeDoux
was ordered to refrain from exposing or permitting any
other person to expose his minor children to any religious
practices or teachings inconsistent with the Catholic
religion. The court further ordered that while visiting their
father, Edward LeDoux  could not prevent or preclude the
minor children from engaging in activities normally
permitted by the Catholic religion. On appeal, LeDoux
contends that the dissolution decree is contrary to law and
the evidence.  The Nebraska Supreme Court affirmed,
stating in part:

"At trial, the principal contested issue dealt with visitation
rights and specific restrictions Diane LeDoux wished to
permanently impose upon [Edward LeDoux] with regard to
his religious activities with the minor children. Evidence
was adduced concerning [Edward LeDoux's] religious
beliefs and their effect on the minor children. Diane LeDoux
testified to various incidents in the family home brought on
by the beliefs of [Edward LeDoux]. Prior to the parties'
separation, Edward LeDoux asked Andrew to say grace.
The boy started to recite the 'Hail Mary', a Catholic prayer.  
[Diane LeDoux] testified, 'Ed got so mad and told him, `How
dare you, how dare you say that.' He got up and he dumped
his chair over, and he went into the living room and . . .
stared into space for 45 minutes.'  On Valentine's Day of
1986, Edward LeDoux refused to do anything with his
family, and on Christmas of 1986, [Edward LeDoux] 'said he
was going to rip up all the Christmas stuff and . . . throw it
out.'   [Diane LeDoux] further recounted an incident on
Easter of 1987, when 'Ed wanted to come into the house
and take the kids to a [WatchTower] memorial service.  He
came into the house and went up to Andy's room and
grabbed him by the arm and wouldn't let him go.  We had an
argument.  I finally had to call the police, and they came and
talked him home.'

"Scott S. McQuin, an elder in the Jehovah's Witnesses
church, agreed that there were differences between the
Jehovah's Witnesses faith and other religions. McQuin
stated the following differences: Jehovah's Witnesses go
door to door carrying on religious conversations with
people to encourage interest in the Bible. Members of the
Jehovah's Witnesses religion are counseled strongly
against allowing their children to participate in sports
activities with people outside the congregation, and the
children are discouraged from participation in organizations
such as Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts. Parents would be
strongly counseled about the dangers involved in being in
those kinds of organizations. Jehovah's Witnesses
encourage higher education for vocational purposes only,
not to advance philosophical teachings. In addition, McQuin
stated that Jehovah's Witnesses observe only one holiday,
that being the memorial of the death of Jesus Christ, and
they believe that patriotism is divisive.

"Dr. Joseph L. Rizzo, a certified clinical psychologist who
had counseled [older son], was called to testify by the
appellee. He indicated that conflicts in the Catholic and
Jehovah's Witnesses religions were an obvious
contributing factor to the stress felt and manifested by
[older son]. Dr. Rizzo testified that [older son] was quite
uncomfortable and fearful about visits with his father.  
'[older son] spoke very strongly about the father trying to
get him - trying to read him religious stories and trying to
get him to pray, and things of this nature.'

"Dr. Rizzo said he became concerned when he learned that
[older son] had voluntarily skipped visits with the appellant.
'Andy was angry, and Andy stated that he basically didn't
want to be with Dad . . . .'   Dr. Rizzo said that [older son's]
specific concerns with regard to his father would come and
go throughout the period of several months, 'the concerns
of whether or not the father would play with [older son],
whether or not the father would pray, would do religious
things that [older son] felt he was not supposed to do."

... ...

"The trial court found that there were numerous beliefs and
practices of Jehovah's Witnesses which were in
contravention of those of the Catholic religion. In addition,
the trial court noted that Edward LeDoux wants to take his
children with him when he goes door to door to have Bible
discussions with other people. Edward LeDoux stated that
he wants his children to believe the way that he does. The
trial court did not pass judgment on these or any other
beliefs of the Jehovah's Witnesses, but did not ignore that
these beliefs were still contrary to the way that Diane
LeDoux, the custodial parent, wants to raise the children.
Taking note of the stress that [older son] was already
experiencing, the trial court concluded that exposing the
minor children to more than one religious practice would
have a deleterious effect upon the minor children. The
court found that exposing the children to two religions
would not only affect the relationship between Edward
LeDoux and the minor children, but also would affect the
well-being of the minor children themselves.

... ...

"A de novo review of the record discloses no abuse of
discretion on the part of the trial court. There is ample
evidence to conclude that the stress [older son] was
experiencing posed an immediate and substantial threat to
his well-being. The stress that [older son] was experiencing
was neither hypothetical nor tenuous. In Dr. Rizzo's words,
[older son's] stress is serious. The fact that the involuntary
exposure to disparate religions was but one factor in the
source of [older son's ]stress does not detract from the trial
court's conclusion that these religious differences have and
will continue to have a deleterious effect on [older son] and,
likewise, the other minor child, ... .

"The order of the trial court is narrowly tailored in that it
imposes the least possible intrusion upon Edward LeDoux's
right of free exercise of religion and the custodial mother's
right to control the religious training of a child. The
custodial parent normally has the right to control the
religious training of the child. ... The dissolution decree
merely forecloses the exposure of the LeDoux children to
those practices and teachings which are inconsistent with
the Catholic religion. The appellant is free to discuss beliefs
of the Jehovah's Witnesses with his children so long as
they are consistent with the Catholic religion. Because
appellant has had previous exposure to the Catholic
religion, he should not have difficulty in recognizing those
beliefs of the Jehovah's Witnesses and Catholic religions
which are conflicting."
Jehovah's Witnesses Lose in Court-Often....