Jenkins and Miller have been going through a lengthy custody battle that has involved legal representation from Falwell's Liberty Counsel, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU. To make a long story short, a Vermont court ruled that both women were legal parents and ordered that Jenkins was entitled to visitation rights. Miller then filed a new suit in Virginia, which does not recognize same-sex marriages, and that court ruled that Miller was the sole legal parent. On appeal, the Virginia Court of Appeals resolved the conflict of law issue by noting that the federal Kidnapping Prevention Act requires courts to enforce other states' court orders regarding custody and visitation. (The text of the decision can be found at the Lambda Legal website). Thus, this was a victory for Jenkins and same-sex parents.
However, according to news reports, Miller has been denying Jenkin access to their daughter. After finding Miller in contempt of court for refusing to comply with the visitation order, Judge William Cohen ordered a change of custody to Jenkins, scheduled to occur on January 1, 2010.
Now, it seems, Miller has disappeared with the child.
This case is unfortunate on many levels.
It kind of makes one wonder if this is a specific application of the Manhattan Declaration's histrionically-threatened civil disobedience. In which case, if indeed Miller has fled with the child, it would be interesting to know whether any individuals or entities are aiding and abetting her breach of the rule of law.
On another note, I found the following statement by Miller's attorney both interesting and sad. As an argument as to why Jenkins should not have custody, the Liberty Counsel attorney claimed:
"Jenkins had shown a 'disdain' for Miller's Christian beliefs — including the belief that homosexuality is a sin. She said Isabella, who attends a Christian school, shares her mother's beliefs."
The double-standard is clear. When Christians express disdain for the homosexual "lifestyle," we are all to just accept that opinion as a statement of universal truth about morality and not get offended. When gay people express "disdain" for said Christian intolerance of homosexuality, that "disdain" can be used in court as evidence as to why someone should not have custody of a child. It's the classic, "you're so intolerant for not tolerating my intolerance of you" game. As though gay people who take issue with Christianity do so for no reason at all!
Secondly, Isabella is 7. She has mostly been raised by a single mother who has strong feelings about the immorality of homosexuality. I don't for one iota of a second believe that little Isabella was born sharing "her mother's beliefs" about the horrendous sinfulness of homosexuality. Most children that age don't really have strong opinions about it either way. It's sort of something that others must indoctrinate into kids.