Lisa Miller and her partner, Janet Jenkins, exchanged vows in a civil union ceremony eight years ago in Vermont. Through artificial insemination, Lisa conceived and gave birth to Isabella in 2002. In 2003, Lisa adopted an ex-gay sexual identity, took Isabella and fled to Virginia, where she found an activist judge willing to violate Vermont child-custody and visitation orders.
From Vermont’ perspective, Lisa is now a law-breaking fugitive who has turned her daughter into a political pawn in the culture wars.
In late 2004, Vermont Family Court Judge William Cohen named Janet as a legal parent of Isabella as a consequence of the civil union.
Since then, Lisa has flouted Vermont family law and constitutional precedent in which states (such as Virginia) may not override other states’ jurisdiction and court rulings in matters of family law. Even as she violated the law, lived as a fugitive in Virginia, and sought to sever Janet’s ties to Isabella, Lisa won child support from Janet.
On Thursday (April 17), the Virginia Supreme Court will rule hear arguments in the custody dispute.
Focus on the Family has weighed in, supporting Lisa’s violations of Vermont family law and implicitly favoring a “special right” of antigay states to disobey the court rulings of states that have jurisdiction over a marriage, civil union, or child custody.
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