Those members of the Vermont state Legislature who voted to approve same-sex civil unions are now faced with a consequence that should merit every one of them being voted into retirement.
The New York Times devoted half a page to reporting from Vermont’s state capital of Montpelier:
Judges in Vermont and Virginia have different ideas about what is best for Isabella Miller-Jenkins, 3, born to a woman who had a civil union with another woman in Vermont. The relationship ended two years ago. Now each woman says Isabella is her daughter, with one asserting exclusive motherhood.
The judge in Vermont ruled that the women should “be treated no differently than a husband and wife.”
Your honor: What on earth does this mean? – other than an astounding conclusion that there is no difference between a man and a woman – and no difference between traditional marriage and sodomist civil unions?
This Vermont judge established a visiting schedule and held the biological mother, Lisa Miller, in contempt of court when she failed to comply with it.
The judge in Virginia ruled that Ms. Miller had the sole right to decide who could see the child. He ruled that the former partner, Janet Miller-Jenkins, had no “parentage or visitation rights.”
Legal experts say the decisions, which reached State Supreme Court here on Wednesday, are the first to present a direct conflict between two state courts on a substantial legal question arising from a same-sex couple’s union. The decisions offer a preview, the experts added, of what are quite likely to be many similar conflicts around the nation.
Ms. Miller moved back to Virginia, where Isabella was born, in September 2003. The couple had visited Vermont briefly for the civil-union ceremony in 2000 and lived there for more than a year after Isabella was born in 2002.
And speaking of “conflicts around the nation,” Ms. Miller-Jenkins told the Times of a new and equally serious development – aside from the fact that her former, but now apparently divorced, lesbian civilly-unioned lover is no longer so united to her: “When I left Janet, I left the homosexual lifestyle and drew closer to God.”
Is the state of Virginia possibly going to let anybody – or any court from Vermont – try to seize this 3-year-old, so that in direct opposition to her real mother’s religious belief, this little girl will be subjected to visitation rights? Not from a father, mind you, but from the former lesbian lover, whom her reformed and converted real mother has abandoned, and whose lifestyle is religiously repugnant?