Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Christian 'ex-lesbian' faces contempt charges for refusing visitation to ex-lover

At left: Cousin Bethie's yard fountain. (Probably some pagan goddess I don't know the name of.)


Warning, the links below are to a so-called "pro-life" web site.

I originally found this on a Catholic board:

Mother to Face Contempt Charges for Refusing Visitation to Former Lesbian Lover

Christian ex-lesbian could face total loss of custody or jail time for defying visitation order
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

October 27, 2008 ( – Lisa Miller, a former lesbian who rejected the homosexual lifestyle and returned to her belief in Christ, will face contempt of court charges today for refusing to give unsupervised visitation of her daughter to her former lesbian partner.

Miller, 40, told LifeSiteNews in a extensive recent interview that her six year old daughter, Isabella, has said that she would like to kill herself following an unsupervised visit, and has complained of being forced to bathe naked with 44-year-old Janet Jenkins, according to Miller (see interview here) Her Vermont attorney, Steven Crampton, reportedly plans to present sworn testimony of evidence of abuse during today’s hearing.

Vermont courts have awarded liberal visitation rights to Jenkins, despite the fact that she has no biological nor adoptive relationship with Isabella. Lisa Miller conceived Isabella through artificial insemination and says that Jenkins took little interest in the conception and pregnancy. The two were joined in a “civil union” under Vermont law.

If Miller is found in contempt of court, she could be imprisoned on the spot, and could face a steep fine. The judge could also choose to transfer full custody to Jenkins. Miller has already paid a $10,000 fine for refusing further visitation to Jenkins.

According to Miller’s attorney in Virginia, Rena Lindevaldsen, Vermont law makes no provisions for parental status in the case of a spouse conceiving by artificial insemination, even in marriages and other unions between heterosexuals. However, a Vermont judge decided to fill the vacuum by declaring that parental rights were automatically conferred.

The judge “said there was no law and he created law to decide who is a parent ... he said the legislature hasn’t passed a law, I don’t know what to do, so he created a new law and applied it to this child who had been born two years earlier,” Lindevaldsen told LifeSiteNews.

Although Virginia law clearly rejects any and all rights and claims stemming from homosexual “marriage” and “civil union” arrangements in other states, Virginia judges have repeatedly upheld the decisions of the Vermont courts.

The case has also been appealed to the Supreme Court twice, but the court has refused a hearing for Miller.

However, despite the enormous opposition she faces from the court systems of Vermont and Virginia, Miller says that she continues to trust God.

“I believe that God is in control and I believe that anything that is going to happen – He is going to allow it,” she told LifeSiteNews. "I don’t have any fear. I feel at peace that God is with me. He has protected me and Isabella for the last five years and I believe that He is going to continue to do that."
Well, silly me, I have a question, as usual.

How is this case "pro-life" and why is it being featured on a pro-life site? Is it somehow understood that "pro-life" is necessarily anti-gay? Why?

I'm glad you are all voting "pro-life" and for Obama, since you all want to end the murderous slaughter of the Iraq war ASAP, of course. Right?

And you want to end the death penalty, right? Glad to hear it!

(that usually brings them out of the woodwork)

Meanwhile, to keep this ABOMINATION (Biblical word used deliberately) from happening to another parent, let's all encourage our friends in California to VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 8, so that gay people's parental rights will be protected, despite what some confused fundie ex-partner might choose to do.

My heart just bleeds for Jenkins; she shouldn't have to deal with this nonsense.

The provocative and rather cutesy name of Miller's Facebook group is Only One Mommy.


JoJo said...

"Dear God: Protect me from your followers". lol

I guess Pro Life = Anti Gay, since most pro lifers profess to be staunch Christians and homosexuality flies in the face of that belief.

The Christians/Republicans are just getting soooo nasty and mean and ruthless. They make me sick. They give good Christians, people who walk the walk and live and let live, a bad name.

Bryce said...

Only one mommy: only one idiot

this story makes me *see red* & cant comment inna decent tone!

Daisy said...

Jojo, actually, the case can be proven the other way, too. :)

hysperia said...

I'm not usually that much into standing up for Christians, but I just want to say to jojo, homosexuality does not flie in the face of Christian beliefs, though I agree that many Christians would have you believe that. There are many Christians who are just fine with same-sex marriage and same-sex couples with children - I just returned from reconnecting with some wonderful people from the United Church in Aldergrove,B.C. who took the time to study the issue and came up pro-same-sex couples and adoption or other, biological ways of having children. I call them "wonderful" because they cared enough to take the time to challenge themselves. So many don't bother.

It's just too sad that, in the pain that often characterizes a broken relationship, one person can use homophobia to hurt her partner and her child. And in the end, I must ask, how in hell does this child feel when one of her parents is trying to rip the other away? If she really has threatened suicide, it likely has much more to do with the fight between her parents than with the fact that a female parent has a bath with her. Who the hell told her there's something bad about that? And just SO great that this woman gets the support of a Christian group who is just as interested in messing up her kid as she apparently is. Oh bleep!

YogaforCynics said...

Perhaps the most absurd thing about the "pro-life" crowd (in addition to the mentioned pro-war and pro-death penalty stances, and anti-social services stances) is the fact that the hardcore "pro-lifers" really aren't even anti-abortion. If they were, if they actually wanted to cut down on the number of abortions performed, they would certainly be against "abstincence only" sex-ed.

I mean, if I loved abortions and wanted to make sure there were as many of them as possible (whether legal or not), I couldn't think of a better way to make that happen than to deny access to birth control, or even to information about it.

Then, if they really wanted to cut down on the number of abortions, rather than control sexual behavior, they'd, if anything want to eccourage sexual behavior that has no chance of producing a pregnancy that might be aborted: i.e. gay sex, or blow jobs, anal sex, or masturbation, all of which they tend to be against.

Thus, it seems, for the "pro-lifers" the only acceptable way for people to satisfy their sexual urges is...guess what? The only way that might lead to an abortion!

Hmmm...I seem to have gone off on a rant...sorry.

Daisy said...

YFC--I encourage rants on my blog! :)

Anonymous said...

Judge hands child to nonbiological lesbian mother

Rutland (Vermont) Herald
By Brent Curtis Staff Writer - Published: November 21, 2009

A Rutland Family Court judge ordered a first-of-its kind parent custody change Friday in a child-visitation dispute involving a Virginia woman and her former lesbian partner who lives in Fair Haven.

In a 21-page order, Judge William Cohen granted sole custody of 7-year-old Isabella Miller to her nonbiological but court-recognized parent, Janet Jenkins.

Jenkins and her former partner — and Isabella's biological mother — Lisa Miller, who renounced homosexuality after the couple split in 2003, have been in and out of courtrooms in Vermont and Virginia for years arguing over visitation rights.

Cohen's decision doesn't appear to spell an end to the fight either — Miller's attorney said Friday that appeal arguments will be made on multiple fronts.

After finding Miller in contempt of court earlier this year for denying Jenkins access to Isabella, Cohen said he decided the only way to ensure the child equal access to both parents was to switch custody.

"The court concludes that it is in the best interest of (Isabella) that Ms. Jenkins exercise parental rights and responsibilities," the judge said. "This court stated that continued interference by Ms. Miller with the relationship between (Isabella) and Ms. Jenkins could lead to a change of circumstances and outweigh the disruption that would occur if a change of custody were ordered."

While making it clear that Miller had been warned of a possible custody change, Cohen said the switch wasn't intended to punish the Virginia woman. Instead, Cohen said the order was based on the well-being of Isabella whose biological mother has only brought her to two visits with her nonbiological parent during the last two years.

In the short term, the judge said the change would cause some disruption in Isabella's life as she would need to move to a new home, school and community. However, Cohen said the transition wouldn't be out of the norm for a 7-year-old.

He also said the benefits of having access to both parents would be worth the difficulties of change.

pt 1

Anonymous said...

pt 2

"In the long term, the change in custody will be in (Isabella's) best interests as she will have the opportunity for maximum continuing physical and emotional contact with both parents," he said, adding that both parents were equal in terms of stability, financial resources, emotional availability and other considerations required for child rearing.

Where they weren't equal, he said, was in their willingness to work together. While Miller has repeatedly and consistently blocked Jenkins' access to Isabella, the judge said Jenkins has agreed to allow Miller access and would allow Isabella to continue to attend church events with her other parent.

Reached by telephone Friday evening, Jenkins said she wanted to do what was best for Isabella.

"I don't believe we need to be friends but I won't block her from Isabella," Jenkins said of Miller. "I'll definitely be supportive of them. I want my daughter to have both of her parents."

Jenkins said she's looking forward to New Year's Day when the custody switch is ordered to take place.

"Honestly, I'm just a mother who wants time with my daughter," she said. "I can't wait. I think my daughter will thrive here. I'm a stay-at-home mom with state licensed day-care so I will be here, and there will be built in playmates who are Isabella's age."

"I feel like all the ducks are lined up," she added.

But the custody battle appears far from over.

Miller's attorney, Mathew Staver, said Friday that Miller planned to fight for her daughter on two fronts: appealing Cohen's decision to the Vermont Supreme Court while continuing a battle in the Virginia Court of Appeals regarding the state's authority to enforce Vermont orders that conflict with Virginia's laws.

"We're certainly not happy with the order. I think Lisa is devastated that the court would grant custody to Jenkins — a person who Isabella doesn't know. The only person known to her is her mother," said Staver, who is the founder and chairman of the nonprofit Liberty Counsel. "We will ask the court to stay enforcement while the appeal moves forward. It's premature to set dates while the appeal is pending."

While the fight goes on, one legal observer said he believes Cohen's most recent decision will pave the way for future custody disputes involving same-sex couples.

"It's a very important decision that I think will be influential beyond the borders of the states where these cases have been argued," Carl Tobias, University of Richmond professor of law, said Friday in a phone interview from Virginia.

He said Cohen's decisions thus far had staying power because they treated the legal parents of civil unions — and by extension gay marriages — no differently than parents in heterosexual custody cases.

While the Vermont case appears destined for appeal and the court battle in Virginia continues, Tobias said he didn't think appeals courts in either state would overturn the decision.

"They've already been to that court a couple times now," he said referring to Virginia's court of appeals. "There's a point at which every court gets tired of people litigating when they have no valid case to make."