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Civil unions initiate new slippery slope

Posted By Jerry Falwell On 05/07/2005 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

The situational ethics of modern society has brought about a new legal problem. Here’s the scenario:

A young woman from Virginia, Lisa Miller, participates in a civil union with her partner, also a Virginia resident, in a Vermont ceremony in 2000. Later, Lisa undergoes artificial insemination and gives birth to a daughter she names Isabella. The two women then move to Vermont. But Lisa is uneasy with her lifestyle and undergoes a spiritual rebirth. In her new life as a Christian, she breaks off the relationship and seeks to find a foundation for her faith back with her family in Virginia.

But Lisa’s story does not end there.

Back in Vermont, the former partner decides she wants custody of the baby. She files a complaint to establish “parent-child contact.” Lisa files an action in Virginia to determine parentage. Frederick (Va.) County Judge John R. Prosser issues an order determining Lisa to be the “sole parent,” saying state law rules out recognition of same-sex unions.

However, last September a Vermont family court judge says his court has jurisdiction over the custody dispute and finds Lisa in contempt of court for disallowing the former partner to visit the child (now 2-years old).

Moral law and social whims

This case demonstrates the moral and legal challenges that are going to come into play because a few activist judges and government officials who are slaves to social whims have attempted to defile established moral law.

The left likes to talk about a “right to privacy” as it relates to a woman’s body in terms of abortion, but that “right” apparently ends when the woman gives birth and a former lesbian lover wants custody of that baby.

Mathew Staver, president and general counsel of the Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, says same-sex unions “will inevitably cause havoc among the states when one state law collides with another.”

He believes Congress needs to get involved by passing a federal marriage law.

“Since children are caught in the middle of this battle,” he says, “Congress should move quickly to pass a bill to amend the United States Constitution to preserve traditional marriage. Let the people vote and put an end to this madness.”

This week, Liberty Counsel filed a brief with the Vermont Supreme Court on behalf of Lisa Miller in order to protect her custody rights as the biological mother.

He says while this case pits Virginia law, which does not recognize same-sex unions, against Vermont law, which recognizes same-sex civil unions, similar cases in states throughout the country will almost certainly follow.

The brief filed with the Vermont Supreme Court argues that a Vermont civil union issued to the couple when they were residents of Virginia is void. Mr. Staver notes that Vermont law prohibits the issuance of licenses to residents of another state when that state does not recognize the Vermont license.

When Lisa and her former partner obtained the Vermont civil union, they both resided in Virginia, a state that does not recognize same-sex unions or civil unions. Therefore, the Vermont civil union is void. (The ruling of the Virginia court which refused to recognize the Vermont civil union and ruled that Lisa Miller is the sole legal parent is also pending at the Virginia Court of Appeals.)

Mr. Staver says that if both states continue to be in conflict over the validity of this Vermont civil union once the appeals are exhausted, it is likely the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the matter to resolve the dispute.

Whatever the outcome – and I certainly pray that Lisa Miller wins sole custody of her baby – it is evident that our nation has arrived at a new slippery slope brought about by those who see moral law as a playground where they create their own rules and regulations that are based on nothing but irresponsible quirks and fads.


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