Lisa Miller and her daughter, Isabella (photo courtesy Barbara Curtis)
A Christian mother has been told by a Virginia court that her 6-year-old daughter must now visit the mother’s former lesbian partner in Vermont, and if she refuses, the law will remove the girl by force, if necessary.
As WND has reported, Lisa Miller left the homosexual lifestyle and became a Christian when her daughter, Isabella, was 17 months old. But Janet Jenkins, Lisa’s same-sex partner when Lisa gave birth to Isabella, is seeking full custody of the girl, claiming she was a parent even though she is not biologically related to Isabella and never sought to adopt her.
The case has been further tangled by the courts, as Jenkins and Miller were joined in civil union in Vermont, but Miller and her daughter now live in Virginia, where the laws forbid recognition of civil unions.
Earlier this month, however, Judge William Sharp of the Shenandoah County Domestic Relations District Court in Virginia, ordered Miller to allow Jenkins a three-day unsupervised visit with Isabella.
Miller told LifeSiteNews that Sharp also ruled that Vermont’s civil union laws must be upheld in Virginia.
“At this point, the Virginia Marriage laws mean nothing,” wrote Miller in an email to friends and supporters. “Today, the homosexual agenda just marched through our back door.”
Miller had previously refused to comply with Vermont’s orders for visitations, claiming Isabella reported being compelled to bathe naked with Jenkins while visiting and came home speaking of suicide.
The non-profit legal group Liberty Counselhas been working on the case. The group’s chairman, Mathew Staver, told WND of Isabella’s traumatic visitations with Jenkins.
“She began having nightmares, bed-wetting, fears of leaving Lisa and even tried to physically harm herself after just a couple of visitations,” Staver said. “After having seen that, Lisa just simply said, ‘I cannot put my child in that situation anymore.'”
Miller appealed to the Virginia courts to overrule the visitation order, but upon threat of force and even jail, following Judge Sharp’s decision, she consented to allow another visit with Jenkins.
Though a Facebook page devoted to Miller’s story reports Isabella returned today from the visit safely, Miller faces an even more frightening date in the future.
On Jan. 28, a judge in Vermont will decide who gets custody of Isabella.
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WND reported earlier on the much-publicized custody battle in which a Vermont court ruled its civil union laws, rather than Virginia’s laws disregarding same-sex unions, should govern the case.
Though Isabella was born in Virginia, and the Millers live in the state, the Virginia State Supreme Court stepped away from its own state’s precedents and affirmed the Vermont court’s claim.
The case led to a clash over whether Vermont could reach over state lines to impose its civil union laws on Virginia’s soil.
Staver previously told WND, “States must have the sovereign authority to maintain their marriage policy as the union of one man and one woman, while rejecting same-sex unions. Virginia’s Constitution compels the state supreme court to not recognize out-of-state, same-sex marriages and civil unions.”
Though a Virginia county court agreed with Staver, the appeals court did not.
Furthermore, the appeals court ignored an argument by Staver and Liberty Counsel on Miller’s behalf to recognize Virginia’s new marriage amendment, defining marriage between one man and one woman, which was enacted during the course of the case. Instead, the appeals court cited a federal law that compels states to honor other state’s claims to jurisdiction. The court decided in favor of Jenkins.
The Virginia State Supreme Court could have made a ruling to put the issue to rest. Instead, it also chose to ignore the implications of Virginia’s marriage amendment and ruled that as no new arguments were presented in the case, the appeals court ruling must stand.
The U.S. Supreme Court could have also rendered a decision to clarify the conflict between the two states’ laws but chose last month to decline hearing the case.