Thursday, March 13, 2008

Vermont Supreme Court Considers Granting Parental Rights To Unrelated Third Party

Today Liberty Counsel presented oral argument in a case that highlights the conflict between states that recognize same-sex civil unions and those that do not. The case of Miller v. Jenkins involves a conflict between the laws of Virginia and Vermont. David Corry, Senior Litigation Counsel for Liberty Counsel, presented the oral argument on behalf of Lisa Miller and her five-year-old daughter, in an attempt to protect Lisa’s parental rights from her former same-sex partner. The court proceedings will be archived on the Court’s web site, http://www.vermontjudiciary.org/audioindex/index.htm.

Lisa is the fit, biological mother of a five-year-old daughter, with whom Janet has neither a biological nor an adoptive relationship. Vermont court granted parental rights to Janet because Lisa and Janet traveled from Virginia to Vermont and entered into a civil union. After Lisa gave birth to her child, the relationship ended when Janet became abusive and Lisa became a Christian. In Virginia, where Lisa and her daughter reside, state law does not recognize same-sex “marriage,” civil unions, or domestic partnerships.

In April, Liberty Counsel will argue the same case before the Virginia Supreme Court. If the Virginia Supreme Court decision conflicts with the Vermont Supreme Court, the case will automatically go to the United States Supreme Court.

Same-sex unions disrupt the traditional family structure and pit one state against another. Children are the collateral damage of those pressing the same-sex union agenda.