J. Matt Barber
August 3, 2007
You're not my mommy!
By J. Matt Barber

Jesus said, "But from the beginning of the creation, God 'made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh." (Mark 10: 6-8, NKJV)

Virginia resident Lisa Miller now a born-again Christian and her beautiful five-year-old daughter Isabella find themselves immersed in a nightmarish custody battle. But this battle is unlike most others. The person trying to take Isabella away from her mother is entirely unrelated to the little girl and is essentially a total stranger. She's lesbian Janet Jenkins, a woman with whom Lisa had at one time been homosexually involved.

By her own account, emotional problems brought on by a series of events including abandonment by her father, abuse by her mentally ill mother and a decade long struggle with alcoholism now overcome eventually led Lisa Miller into the lesbian lifestyle. In 1999, Lisa began a homosexual relationship with Jenkins after coming out of a legitimate marriage that ended in divorce.

In 2000, soon after Vermont became the first state to legalize homosexual "civil unions," Miller and Jenkins made a weekend trek from Virginia to Vermont to enter into such a "union." They then headed back to Virginia where they lived together.

In 2001, Lisa was artificially inseminated after the two decided to raise a child in an unnatural, deliberately fatherless home environment as self-deluded "wife" and "wife" mother and "mother."

In August of 2002, Miller and little Isabella, now just a few months old, moved to Vermont with Jenkins. However, things were unstable, and according to Lisa Miller, Jenkins was physically and emotionally abusive. "It was a troubled relationship from the beginning," Lisa told World Magazine in a recent interview. "The relationship did not improve, as Jenkins working as a nightshift security guard grew increasingly bitter and controlling," reported World.

About a year later, when Isabella was less than a year and a half old, Lisa ended her lesbian relationship, took her daughter back home to Virginia and filed for dissolution of her homosexual "civil union" back in Vermont.

And that's when the nightmare really began.

Although Jenkins had no parental connection to Isabella (she was neither an adoptive parent, nor biologically related) she filed papers in Vermont in 2003 to try to take Isabella from her mother. Even though the child was conceived, born and living in Virginia, the Vermont court nonetheless held that it had jurisdiction. The legal battle has continued since that time, and incredibly, the court recently ruled that Jenkins possessed parental rights over Lisa's daughter. It granted Jenkins regular and very liberal visitation. Isabella is now required to make the several hundred mile roundtrip journey from Virginia to Vermont every other week to visit a total stranger (Jenkins) who, according to reports, outrageously forces the confused and traumatized little girl to call her "momma."

Rena M. Lindevaldsen, who is an attorney with Liberty Counsel and is representing Lisa and Isabella Miller, explains, "After Lisa ended her relationship with Janet, when Isabella was only 17 months old, Lisa became a born-again Christian. For the past three years, she has attempted to raise her child according to Biblical principles. According to recent filings by Janet, however, Janet believes that Lisa's religious beliefs render Lisa incapable of properly parenting Isabella. As the fit, biological parent of Isabella, it is Lisa, not Janet, who has the fundamental right to decide how to raise her child and with whom she visits. Shockingly, when the Vermont courts declared Janet, a woman who is still actively involved in the homosexual lifestyle, to be Isabella's parent and set a liberal schedule for visitation between Janet and five-year-old Isabella, the court did not even address Lisa's fundamental parental rights."

So Jenkins, a woman entirely unrelated to Isabella, and her attorneys are alleging that because Lisa is now a devout Christian, she is unfit to maintain custody of her own daughter. They filed a motion requesting a hearing to determine whether Isabella should be taken from her mother and given to Jenkins. Unbelievably, the judge granted that motion. The hearing is scheduled to take place on Friday, August 3.

But that's only one in a series of inexplicable rulings by this Vermont court. The court has additionally ruled, essentially, that its own judicial authority is superior to that of both Virginia which defines marriage as existing only between one man and one woman and the federal government.

Lindevaldsen further explains, "The Vermont order declaring Janet to be Isabella's parent is inextricably tied to the underlying civil union. Virginia statutes and a recent constitutional amendment prohibit recognition of any rights arising from same-sex relationships. Those laws, coupled with the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), should have led the Virginia Court of Appeals to refuse to give full faith and credit to the Vermont parentage and custody orders. Instead, the Virginia court declared that Virginia must recognize the Vermont orders. In other words, the Virginia court rendered meaningless the DOMA and the recently passed Virginia constitutional amendment. Based on this recent decision, policy decisions in Virginia on family and marriage now will be set by states like Vermont and Massachusetts." The Virginia Supreme Court has yet to decide whether it will take the case on appeal.

Lisa and Isabella's story tragically demonstrates that it's all too often children who are ultimately victimized by state recognized immorality. It's the children who suffer when adults selfishly depart from God's intended design for human sexuality and marriage as reaffirmed by Christ's teachings in the New Testament and enter into counterfeit homosexual "civil-unions" or "same-sex marriages."

Although Lisa and Isabella's situation is both heartbreaking and unjust, it shouldn't be at all surprising. In the name of so-called "gay rights," the militant homosexual lobby has made its position crystal clear. The selfish individual interests of those who define themselves based upon a choice to engage in deviant homosexual behaviors supersede the best interests of everyone else. ... even children.

And certainly, where newfangled "gay rights" come into conflict with time-honored and constitutionally guaranteed First Amendment religious liberties, the demands of homosexual activists trump the First Amendment every time.

Lisa and little Isabella are just two of the latest victims of this radical and aggressive homosexual code of conduct.

Regrettably, there will be more.

© J. Matt Barber

Comments feature added August 14, 2011

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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J. Matt Barber

Matt Barber is Director of Cultural Affairs with both Liberty Counsel and Liberty Alliance Action. He also serves as Associate Dean of Liberty University School of Law and co-hosts the nationally syndicated "Liberty Live" talk radio program on AFR Talk. Send comments to Matt at jmattbarber@comcast.net. (This information is provided for identification purposes only.)


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