Patterico's Pontifications

12/29/2009

Vermont Judge Grants Custody to Birth Mother’s Former Lesbian Partner

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 8:56 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

I predict this Vermont child custody case will stir controversy:

“[Lisa] Miller and [Janet] Jenkins were joined in a Vermont civil union in 2000. Isabella was born to Miller through artificial insemination in 2002. The couple broke up in 2003, and Miller moved to Virginia, renounced homosexuality and became an evangelical Christian.

[Vermont Judge] Cohen awarded custody of the girl to Jenkins on Nov. 20 after finding Miller in contempt of court for denying Jenkins access to the girl.

The judge said the only way to ensure equal access to the child was to switch custody. He also said the benefits to the child of having access to both parents would be worth the difficulties of the change.”

Miller’s lawyers don’t know where she and Isabella are, suggesting she does not intend to comply with the court’s custody decision.

— DRJ

209 Responses to “Vermont Judge Grants Custody to Birth Mother’s Former Lesbian Partner”

  1. Miller sounds like she might could have mental problems.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  2. Who can blame her. But, what do you expect from a state that continuously elects sanders and leahy.

    Jim (582155)

  3. Has Jenkins paid her paternal child support? They were married after all, so the lack of biological fatherhood shouldn’t be an issue.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  4. Well but also Miller comes across as a very selfish woman what is more concerned with getting her Jesus on than in creating a stable and nurturing environment for her daughter. She made a commitment and she failed and now she’s abusively preventing her daughter from seeing her other mom person.

    That is very skanky behaviour.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  5. I support Miller’s action in keeping her daughter in a much more stable environment.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  6. It’s a very controversial issue Mr. Hitchcock.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  7. Yes, it is, footsie. It’s an issue where people can hate Christians and blaspheme Providence and think they’re being cute about it.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  8. ladies and gentlemen I give you Mr. SEK

    This is not a vision of a racially harmonious social politic: it is an inversion of the logic of passing that seems acceptable only because it imagines the experience of becoming a person of color as necessarily ennobling. The film argues that once a white person truly and deeply understands the non-white experience, he becomes an unstoppable combination of non-white primitivism and white rationalism which is exactly what happens. In order for the audience to support the transformation of Jake Sully into Braveheart Smurf, it must accept the essentialist assumptions that make such a combination possible … and those assumptions are racist. In football terms, this is a variation of the black quarterback “problem.”

    I haven’t seen the movie yet and I don’t know if I agree with his take but it sure is fun to read.

    I probably won’t actually see the movie.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  9. I love Christians and I’ve never even been to Rhode Island. Just cause this hoochie is a Christian doesn’t mean she represents.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  10. I’m done with this subject before I blow my top.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  11. I think they should raffle the child off. The proceeds can be donated to the local ACLU chapter. That way, everybody is satisfied and the major problems of the human race are being fixed.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  12. Feets – I don’t know why you have to go all hatey on the GOD thing just because Ms. Miller doesn’t want red snapper on the menu every night. Causation or correlation?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  13. Mr. Feet, if you are going to criticize Avatar, have at it. I mean, the movie is far worse than racist (especially because you know who sees racism everywhere white people live). The movie is crudely derivative and not very ambitious. Look at the 1957 Poul Anderson story, “Call Me Joe.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_me_joe

    The final line is better than anything in Cameron’s Dances with Blue Rousseauian Smurfs.

    But you know SEK. Those darn white folk! I sure hope the guy doesn’t use “red” pen when he corrects papers—Native Americans would be outraged. Oh, wait:

    http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2004/08/23/harshness_of_red_marks_has_students_seeing_purple/

    http://media.www.easternprogress.com/media/storage/paper419/news/2006/11/30/News/Change.In.Color.Could.Level.Of.Stress.For.Eku.Students-2513438.shtml

    Whew. That was close.

    Like I have often maintained the silliest thing about academics is their self-absorbed arrogance.

    Eric Blair (ddbceb)

  14. I’m not being hatey. Just cause Miller labels herself a Christian doesn’t mean she is one. Barack Obama labels himself a Christian too.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  15. I read the Avatar treatment what was leaked online a few years ago and I wasn’t ever able to get very excited about it after that.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  16. “I’m not being hatey.”

    My mistake.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  17. “Just cause Miller labels herself a Christian doesn’t mean she is one.”

    Yes it does. It’s not a race based religion like Judaism where blood lines determine who is and is not a Jew. If she holds some very basic beliefs then she is correct in calling herself a Christian.

    I support Miller’s rights, the actual mother, who apparantly has reason to fear for her child’s safety when with her ex. Society and child advocates have established that a mother has a duty to protect her child regardless of what some paleo-judge decrees.

    “I love Christians.”

    Sure you do. That’s why you refer to “getting her Jesus on” and call her a hoochie. I bet you tell people that some of your best friends are black as well.

    Mike Jackson (a7da41)

  18. An appeals court in Virginia okayed the decision of the Vermont judge against Miller. Then Miller failed to file a timely appeal of the Virginia appeals court to the Supreme Court of Virginia.

    That’s why the Supreme Court of Virginia subsequently decided against Miller. The Supreme Court of Virginia declined to reach the merits of the case, and instead simply said that Miller had screwed up by not filing a timely appeal. The decision of the Virginia Supreme Court is here.

    Note that a concurring justice of the Virginia Supreme Court says he disagrees with the lower court in Virginia, but can’t do anything about it since Miller did not file a timely appeal.

    I don’t know whose fault it was that a timely appeal did not get filed. If it was a lawyer’s fault, then I guess that lawyer is not a happy camper.

    Andrew (b196a5)

  19. Contempt of Court always reminds me of this Mae West line from My Little Chickadee (28 seconds in).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLFD2cb8Ens

    Lighten up people.

    arch (24f4f2)

  20. You can lose your rights if you don’t defend preserve them. Your child, too. At first I thought that this was the same case as the birth mother who lost her child totally because she signed a surrogate contract in favor of her partner. That was a really bad one.

    nk (df76d4)

  21. OK legal beagles. Paternity is only a presumption when a couple is married and can be successfully challenged with DNA evidence. So, is there a special exemption to exclude DNA evidence in paternity cases between lesbians that are Vermont married? If there is then there would seem to be a very special condition for some married couples and not others and is this a violation of equal protection or something?

    cedarhill (9ff771)

  22. Really, cedarhill? Are you saying that the baby may not have been “hers”?

    Yeah, the partner got her rights only through operation of Vermont’s civil union statute. And it is an interesting question under DOMA. But some deadlines are jurisdictional.

    nk (df76d4)

  23. Let’s go back to the Old Testament and do like Solomon, bring both women before the court, and then divide the child with a sword.

    PCD (1d8b6d)


  24. Let’s go back to the Old Testament and do like Solomon, bring both women before the court, and then divide the child with a sword.

    Comment by PCD — 12/30/2009 @ 6:21 am

    Am sure PCD knows the end of the story but the real mother in that story, of course, appealed to Solomon to give her child away rather than see him harmed. The question here, of course, is what is best for the little girl.

    Don’t know these two individual women but it really depends on the way they live their lives, doesn’t it? My first thought (from life experience I guess you’d call it) would be that the homosexual partner is statistically more likely to have an unstable home life, relationships, etc. than the Christian one. But someone who calls herself a Christian may in fact be living a very unstable life which isn’t good for the little girl.

    And the judge is very wrong about the “guarantee” IMO. Switching custody guarantees nothing but that the other partner now has more rights, and more ability to deny access to the child.

    no one you know (196ed7)

  25. Mike

    > It’s not a race based religion like Judaism where blood lines determine who is and is not a Jew.

    Um, you have never heard of converts? Sheesh, that is ignorant.

    Happy,

    > Well but also Miller comes across as a very selfish woman what is more concerned with getting her Jesus on than in creating a stable and nurturing environment for her daughter.

    Happy, you can disagree with her without being offensive to all Christians, you know. Just a suggestion.

    No wonder you felt that pointing out Jennings inappropriate behavior was an indictment on all gay men: you can’t separate out in your mind condemnation of one from condemnation of a group.

    > Just cause Miller labels herself a Christian doesn’t mean she is one.

    Okay why do you think she suddenly doesn’t want her ex-partner to see the child at all?

    As for Avatar, I saw it. it wasn’t crap, but it wasn’t great. I would give it like 3 stars out of four. The star of the film is the alien world and all its unique life and features. The big problem was that you literally saw everything in the story coming a mile away. I joked that “I liked it better the first time when it was called Dances with Wolves.” And here is the big retarded point. Okay these people are not shy about wiping these aliens out. So why not take Weaver’s advice in Aliens, go up into orbit and nuke the place? I am sure Cameron could come up with a reason why, but I would like to have heard it.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  26. Now that I’ve had a good night’s sleep, I agree, let’s go back to the Old Testament, where it says homosexuality is an abomination and unnatural. And where it says those who practice it have rejected what is natural. And where Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for their immorality. And where parents were taught of their responsibility to Providence in raising up their children.

    Or we could remember it is better to have a mill-stone around your neck and be cast into the sea than to cause a child to stumble. We could remember all that, too.

    “Mentally disturbed” indeed!

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  27. No one

    You know, something in what you said crystallized to me what I really found offensive about this story. The judge changed custody to… punish the mother? Wtf?

    Simply put, the child is her blood and not of her ex-partner. Blood should presumptively trump everything else. Sorry, but that is reality.

    Of course blood ties can and in the right circumstances should be overcome. For instance, my sister was once married to an abusive jerk. She had a daughter with him. She divorced him and many years later married a wonderful man. Suppose tomorrow my sister died and I was the judge deciding who got custody of my niece. In that case I would happily say that her step father should have sole custody.

    And bluntly the mother refusing to give “access” to her daughter is not a sufficient justification to rip the child up from her roots and ship her to another state. This isn’t a contract dispute between two corporations where one party failed to make discovery. This is the life of a human being. And the lack of respect shown demonstrates that the judge lacks solomon’s wisdom, preferring to actually split the baby rather than give the child to her true mother.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  28. Feets is right. This is not an issue of the judge, or Feets, being anti-Christian.

    My understanding is Miller could have kept custody if she had granted her ex- her legal rights to visit the child they share.

    The judge made the best decision. The only way to ensure the child has access to both parents, which the child deserves, was to change custody.

    There is nothing wrong with Miller changing her views on homosexuality. If she feels Christianity saved her from a sinful lifestyle, that’s fine.

    But she can’t abuse Christianity as a shield for not doing right by her child. Christianity may wash away sin but does not release people from the consequences and responsibilities of what they have done.

    As for this claiming Christian business, I also agree with Feets (except about Obama). Anyone can say it. The Klan was a Christian organization, for instance.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  29. NOYK,

    I was going to watch moron twist himself into knots until you cleaned up on that hanging slow pitch I threw.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  30. Can we somehow get this former lesbian couple on the Maury Povich Show?

    KingShamus (fb8597)

  31. The kid’s definitely not learning a lesson in integrity.

    Kidnappers for Jesus!

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  32. you can’t separate out in your mind condemnation of one from condemnation of a group

    Criticizing this deranged hoochie for kidnapping is not the same as condemning all Christians.

    She made a commitment and broke it and seems to point to Christianity as a justification for her evil child-napping faithlessness.

    She does Christianity no service I think.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  33. oh. Thank you Myron. I am definitely not anti-Christian.

    I promise.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  34. Kelvin signs a contract with Roger, stating that Kelvin will transport 100 keys of cocaine a week from FL to MI. Kelvin later decides to get out of the drug-running business. And footsie will hold Kelvin guilty of breaking a binding contract.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  35. Cocaine is evil and kind of cheesy I think.

    I’m on Team Kelvin.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  36. Homosexuality is evil as well. I’m on Team Providence.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  37. She made a commitment and broke it and seems to point to Christianity as a justification for her evil child-napping faithlessness.

    I don’t believe there has been enough information provided to *assume* her *supposed* conversion to Christianity is to blame, but it’s an easy and convenient target, while incongruously, not an altogether unreasonable *guess* either.

    Big assumptions are tough to make with little information.

    Dana (f64b7d)

  38. Actually, to complete the metaphor, footsie, I should’ve said you’re against Kelvin’s decision to prevent his son Nathan from continuing the drug-running business.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  39. No dana Miller’s lawyer said the other hoochie was disdainful of Miller’s religious views. Which stand to reason cause Miller has disdainful views. It’s on google.

    hf (9bda9c)

  40. I’m still proud to stand with Team Kelvin.

    hf (9bda9c)

  41. I have never heard of a biological mother losing rights unless it’s proved in court she tried to kill the child (and often the court gives the child back if she doesn’t succeed), or it can be proved she is an unfit mother. (generally hard to do in most states)

    Generally speaking, the biological mother has had custodial rights that trump ALL others. In this case, the judge is stating that the LESBIAN STEP MOTHER has the trump card.

    Hmmmmmm……….

    Charlotte (dad663)

  42. No dana Miller’s lawyer said the other hoochie was disdainful of Miller’s religious views. Which stand to reason cause Miller has disdainful views. It’s on google.

    I didn’t read that at the link, but regardless, if Ms. Jenkins was disdainful of Ms. Miller’s Christianity, then don’t you think that’s as problematic as Ms. Miller being disdainful of Ms. Jenkins homosexuality?

    Why is one’s disdain justified and acceptable over the other individual’s? And undoubtedly, both see themselves as *right* in their own eyes.

    So how does that make Ms. Jenkins the better choice as custodial parent?

    Dana (f64b7d)

  43. #14 — Comment by happyfeet — 12/29/2009 @ 10:34 pm
    Just cause Miller labels herself a Christian doesn’t mean she is one.

    Perhaps more pertinent to this case is that Miller labels herself as a Mother to this child.

    Pons Asinorum (740b85)

  44. #25 — Comment by A.W. — 12/30/2009 @ 6:49 am
    Okay these people are not shy about wiping these aliens out. So why not take Weaver’s advice in Aliens, go up into orbit and nuke the place? I am sure Cameron could come up with a reason why, but I would like to have heard it.

    Maybe radiation? The evil humans were there to mine some special mineral. If they nuked the place, the subsequent radiation would have made things pricey (my two-cent guess, anyway).

    Totally agree with your analysis of the movie. For me a solid “B” (highly predictable, the American Indian subtext was about as subtle as a sledge-hammer, but the artistry of the scenes and the futuristic-looking weaponry was good).

    Pons Asinorum (740b85)

  45. Anyone know if Jenkins is using the custody issue to force Miller back into homosexuality, or to punish her for either leaving the lesbian relationship or for following Christianity?

    Ms Jenkins claim to the child strikes me as exceedingly thin, and in my opinion lacks merit on its face. Why separate Isabella from her mother? Or, why deliver the child into the care of a vengeful and litigious ex-partner who is little more than a virtual stranger to Isabella?

    ropelight (58ef71)

  46. This has a bit more detail.

    “The potential effect of any change in Isabella’s housing, school, community and environment could be to ‘induce devastating trauma,'” Liberty Counsel attorney Rena Lindevaldsen said quoting a doctor who testified in the case.

    Lindevaldsen also argued that 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.

    Dana (f64b7d)

  47. So how does that make Ms. Jenkins the better choice as custodial parent?

    Cause Ms. Jenkins isn’t an erratic kidnapper, Dana. Miller violated this other lady’s visitation rights, and that’s the reason she lost custody.

    here’s what I was remembering…

    Lindevaldsen [Miller’s attorney] also argued that 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.

    If Miller’s attorney points to Jenkins having disdain for Miller’s belief that homosexuality is a sin, then it’s a safe assumption that Miller’s Christianity is a big part of the reason she felt justified in kidnapping Jenkins’ daughter.

    This is no different than when Muslim guys steal kids from their Christian moms here in America and take them to Saudi Arabia and put blankets on their heads and don’t let them drive cars.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  48. oh. I shoulda refreshed, huh?

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  49. Happy

    > She made a commitment and broke it

    Well, that is what really bothers you about it? how dare she stop being gay! She was committed to it.

    And kidnapper? Hyperbole much?

    And let’s break this down a little more. Clearly you believe in a constitutional right to be gay, as found in Lawrence v. Texas. But do you know where that rights comes from? the answer is really mainly from a majority of the supreme court’s hind quarters, but there were also precedents that established the right of a parent to control the upbringing of their children.

    So first off this is Ms. Miller’s child, right? Her blood, her flesh. So just as much as she had a supposed constitutional right to be gay, she has a constitutional right to raise her child according to her values. Now last time I checked it was legal in the united states not to approve of homosexuality, so why exactly should it be illegal for her to promote her values in her own child? And as noted in NAACP v. Alabama, associative privacy is key to forming one’s message. Privacy for me but not for thee, I suppose.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  50. Happy

    > This is no different than when Muslim guys steal kids from their Christian moms here in America and take them to Saudi Arabia and put blankets on their heads and don’t let them drive cars.

    Well, it depends. Is the guy the parent or not? We know this Jenkins woman is not the child’s blood. You know, that is a small difference.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  51. She made a commitment to raise a child with this other lady is the point, A.W. It has nothing to do with her having a commitment to this other hoochie. Divorced couples share custody of kids. That’s how the game goes. This lady needs to grow up. She’s not special and privileged just cause of she renounced her evil rugmunching ways.

    And to argue that the biological provenance of the kid is some kind of trump card is to argue that adoptive parents are illegitimate if the biological mom decides she wants the kid back. Even Christian adoptive parents? Yes. That is what that argues.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  52. Comment by PCD — 12/30/2009 @ 8:01 am

    Oops; my bad. Sorry I ruined the fun. :)

    no one you know (196ed7)

  53. Footsie, if homosexuality is an abomination, as the Bible says it is, and it is unnatural and a rejection of the natural, as the Bible says it is;
    if parents have the responsibility of raising a child properly, as the Bible says they do;
    if it would be better for someone to have a mill-stone around their neck and be cast into the depths (to drown) than to cause the little ones to stumble, as says the Bible;
    then why would any true Christian let their child be directly and poisonously influenced by a person whose lifestyle is an abomination?

    That would be irresponsible parenting and very unChristian.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  54. Happy

    > And to argue that the biological provenance of the kid is some kind of trump card is to argue that adoptive parents are illegitimate if the biological mom decides she wants the kid back. Even Christian adoptive parents? Yes. That is what that argues.

    No, that doesn’t mean a biological mother can take back a child she gave away to adoption at any time. When adoption occurs, there is a termination of her rights, that is contrary to what several made for tv movies might make you think, very rarely overturned.

    The better metaphor is a fight between a step father and the mother; or even a step mother and a biological father. Do you really believe that in that circumstances they are treated equally before the law? The blood ties win.

    I mean, my God, look at the case of Elian Gonzales. His mother literally died trying to bring her son to America. The father seemed like a decent guy, but he was in cuba, a dictatorship. Surely Elian would have been happier in America. But our courts said, “f— it, he is the father, he gets custody.” Now the kid is a lifetime political prop. Sad. That is how powerful that bias is, that we believe it is better to be in a communist dictatorship with your blood father than in America with your blood uncles as was your mother’s dying wish.

    And, by the way, joint custody is not the norm, duh.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  55. That is definitely the appropriate theocratic view I think Mr. Hitchcock but that’s different from America.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  56. I shouldn’t have said share custody I should have said… I do not know the words.

    This wasn’t a joint custody… the one hoochie just had visitation. And it would have stayed that way if Miller hadn’t wigged out.

    Elian should have stayed in America. That was messed up to send him to dirty impoverished corrupt communist Cuba to live with his coward father.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  57. Footsie, you cannot honestly claim to accept the Tenets of Christianity while rejecting the Tenets of Christianity.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  58. No one

    You know, something in what you said crystallized to me what I really found offensive about this story. The judge changed custody to… punish the mother? Wtf?

    Simply put, the child is her blood and not of her ex-partner. Blood should presumptively trump everything else. Sorry, but that is reality.

    Of course blood ties can and in the right circumstances should be overcome…
    Comment by A.W. — 12/30/2009 @ 7:37 am

    Maybe I should have been more direct. I too initially found this story offensive, I suppose partly because I thought they were in a state sanctioned “marriage” and not a civil union (then I saw I’d misread their status). And even if they were, according to the state anyway, “married” (no, BTW as much respect as I have for gays and their beliefs I do not believe a true marriage can exist between anyone but a man and a woman) and irrespective of gender of partners, the child would be in a similar situation to the physical abuse one you described: one partner (Miller) now believing that exposure to the other (Jenkins) would be harmful to the child. And denying access based on that belief.

    Now: would blood maternity trump in a marriage (man and woman) situation? As others have pointed out, other things being equal, very likely so, (IANAL but I think it’s common knowledge). (And this was a civil union, not even a state approved “marriage.”)

    This is the life of a human being. And the lack of respect shown demonstrates that the judge lacks solomon’s wisdom, preferring to actually split the baby rather than give the child to her true mother.

    Exactly. Because of the different way this case is being handled, yes, I do think the judge is trying to “teach” this mother a lesson, using the pretext or excuse of the civil union, about the acceptability of gayness and how wrong she is in her beliefs.

    no one you know (196ed7)

  59. No one…

    > Exactly. Because of the different way this case is being handled, yes, I do think the judge is trying to “teach” this mother a lesson, using the pretext or excuse of the civil union, about the acceptability of gayness and how wrong she is in her beliefs.

    Well, we were agreeing until this part, and my disagreement is a quibble. I don’t think this is about political correctness with the judge. i think this is about the judge seeing her as defying him and wanting to teach her a lesson. And like i said, if this was just a contract case or something like that, have at it, your honor. But this is about the life and well being of a child. i have heard of parents using their children as pawns, but never of a judge doing so.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  60. This has nothing to do with gay or Christian except for people what want to leverage this case into something it’s not. Lisa Miller is a very dumb woman what lost custody of her kid by doing Stupid Things. I think it suggests that she’s not a stellar mother, being that she’s such a careless custody-losing stupidhead and all.

    She should have porked a Christian instead of a turkey baster. Her bad.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  61. Happy

    Do you think it helps your position to be so continually offensive.

    No, as best as I can tell her faith is front and center in this. She stopped being gay, turned Christian and anti-gay and therein lies the problem. This is not a matter of intelligence or stupidity, but that she has views that you apparently think she doesn’t have a right to teach her daughter. It smacks of fascism: believe what we want, or we will take your children away.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  62. It probably isn’t helpful, no.

    But it’s not very Christian to teach a kid that her other mommy is an Abomination I don’t think.

    And I’m still pretty sure Lisa Miller is not a very bright girl. This is simply not what smart people do, what Lisa Miller did.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  63. It seems it has everything to do with gayness and Christianity. By default, the belief systems of these two put each other in opposition.

    Because of this, one mother is compelled to keep her child from the influence of the other whose beliefs she sees as wrong and/or harmful.

    The second mother sees the Christian mother now assuming a belief system that is harmful and/or wrong as it has caused her to shun her previous lifestyle (thus her partner as well) rendering judgment, and in turn renders her own judgment against the blood mother.

    Bottom line: What is in the child’s best interest? On a practical level, the child is now 7 years old and has only knowledge and memory of her blood mother. Ms. Jenkins is a virtual stranger to her. Is it really in the best interest of the child to tear her away from not only her blood mother but the only mother she’s known, move her to another state, surround her with a family she does not know, and introduce her to a lifestyle that is contrary to what she’s been taught (*If* that has even been addressed)?
    Who does such a dramatic and traumatic action really benefit?

    Dana (f64b7d)

  64. I feel sorry only for the kid, really. The two ladies can look out for themselves as far as I’m concerned. Nobody owns a kid.

    But the situation does strike me a little bit like an alcoholic who has gone on the wagon and is afraid what will happen if he sees a glass of whisky again.

    nk (df76d4)

  65. Happy,

    > But it’s not very Christian to teach a kid that her other mommy is an Abomination I don’t think.

    Well, last time i checked, the constitution protected our right to believe alot of unchristian things, indeed the right not to be a christian at all.

    I think Scalia’s comment about a professor’s project to try to gather as much personal info about Scalia as possible is pretty on point:

    > It is not a rare phenomenon that what is legal may also be quite irresponsible. That appears in the First Amendment context all the time. What can be said often should not be said. Prof. Reidenberg’s exercise is an example of perfectly legal, abominably poor judgment. Since he was not teaching a course in judgment, I presume he felt no responsibility to display any.

    so whatever you think of Miller’s faith, it doesn’t matter. it is her right.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  66. i think this is about the judge seeing her as defying him and wanting to teach her a lesson.

    You’re probably correct in that assessment. Kind of puts a different slant on the phrase “we are a nation of laws, not men.” This was today’s point in Muir’s Day by Day cartoon. We are more a nation of lawyers and judges than laws when viewed in this light. The law doesn’t have a chance when it gets into the hands of clever humans with their own agendas and intents.

    Of course, I throw out that comment from my bunker and quickly slam down the hatch.

    political agnostic (9f404f)

  67. The kid doesn’t have an “other mommy.” The laws of nature prevent that. And, please, don’t be putting words in my mouth. The act of a person can be an abomination without summarily making the person an abomination. Just makes the other person a sinner. But if the other person wants to teach the child that abomination is acceptable, that is a problem. Mill-stone type problem.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  68. I’m not saying Miller doesn’t have the right to teach her kid whatever she wants. I’m saying Lisa Miller is a piss-poor Christian what abusively poisoned the mind of her child against the other mom and lost custody of her kid primarily cause of her own personal neurotic phobia of lesbians.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  69. i have heard of parents using their children as pawns, but never of a judge doing so.

    Comment by A.W. — 12/30/2009 @ 10:25 am

    A.W. –

    Not quite the same as the topic at hand but horrible just the same.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/02/23/pennsylvania.corrupt.judges/

    Matador (176445)

  70. political

    Well, normally that instinct is not all bad. normally people need to obey court orders or else it is chaos! dogs and cats living together!

    Seriouly, the rules of court should be obeyed, and woe to the person that blows the judge off. But still, the child is unoffending and thus shoudln’t be seen as a tool in the sanctions process.

    By all means, sanction the woman. but don’t go hurting the baby.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  71. lost custody of her kid primarily cause of her own personal neurotic phobia of lesbians.

    Now, now, happyfeet. The lady found the right use for her hoochie I’m sure a better statement is.

    nk (df76d4)

  72. matador,

    yeah, i have been keeping half an eye on that story for a while. shameful.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  73. No, footsie, you’re saying Miller took the Bible for its Word. And you have a problem with people taking the Bible for its Word. The Bible says homosexuality is an abomination and a rejection of what is natural. You’re saying to ignore the Bible, in essence. And, quite frankly, I believe anyone who uses the term “homophobia” as a defense/offense or even obliquely refers to it as you just did wholly rejects Providence in His declaration on this point.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  74. AW:

    Yes, I’ve heard of conversion. Have you ever heard or read someone describe themselves as a “non-religious Jew” or “half Jewish” as compared to hearing “half Muslim” or “half Hindu” etc.

    Jews don’t have any problem declaring themselves to be descended by bloodlines, why are you so angry that you would call that ignorant?

    Mike Jackson (a7da41)

  75. Happy

    > I’m not saying Miller doesn’t have the right to teach her kid whatever she wants. I’m saying Lisa Miller is a piss-poor Christian what abusively poisoned the mind of her child against the other mom and lost custody of her kid primarily cause of her own personal neurotic phobia of lesbians.

    Oy. So you feel that she has a right to teach her children whatever she wants, but if she teachs her child to disapprove of the homosexual lifestyle, then she should lose her child. And you see no contradiction in what you just said?

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  76. first, Mike Jackson! you’re alive. i heard you died of an overdose with your chimp bubbles!

    okay, sorry, bad joke.

    anyway, to the substance, you say:

    > Have you ever heard or read someone describe themselves as a “non-religious Jew” or “half Jewish” as compared to hearing “half Muslim” or “half Hindu” etc.

    in obama’s case, i have heard of him called half muslim. and in indionesia his religion was listed as muslim because the child is presumed to have the faith of the father.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  77. The only way to ensure the child has access to both parents, which the child deserves, was to change custody.

    This is just astonishing, even for Moron. This is a child. I remember when Baby Richard was taken away from his step father and a good home to be turned over to a biological father who had never had any contact with him, merely because the biological father had not given consent. This is just atrocious reasoning. It’s the child custody equivalent of Miranda. Don’t punish the person who violated the law. Instead, rip the child away from the only home she knows. The child is being punished.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  78. I’m just saying Lisa Miller is a very tacky and spiteful hoochie who has lived a remarkably inconstant life what what is in no way improved by her foray into kidnapping.

    Lisa Miller is a much less moral person than advertised I think and her little girl is going to grow up to be just as sinful as the rest of us.

    I’m thinking Carrie’s mom.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  79. Happy

    > I’m just saying Lisa Miller is a very tacky

    wow, you are calling her tacky. didn’t you make a turkey baster joke a minute ago?

    Sorry, but you of all people can’t call anyone out for being tacky.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  80. oh. just the one what I mean not what what.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  81. I’m just insouciantly tacky I’m not dragging my kid around dodging lesbians and the local constabulary tacky.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  82. Looks like my comment got stuck in moderation. Let’s just say the person with the moniker “happyfeet” is persona non grata on my property.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  83. And the turkey baster thing wasn’t a joke. This Lisa Miller hoochie has absolutely no concept of actions having consequences. She is a deeply selfish and disturbed woman I think.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  84. happy

    yeah in other words you just don’t like that she is opposed to homosexuality, especially because she was once gay, so that ads an element of treason to all of this. you are so tolerant.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  85. Happyfeet,

    Bottom line: What is in the child’s best interest?

    Consider: on a practical level, the child is now 7 years old and has only knowledge and memory of her blood mother. Ms. Jenkins is a virtual stranger to her.

    Is it really in the best interest of the child to tear her away from not only her blood mother but the only mother she’s ever known, move her to another state, surround her with a family she does not know, and introduce her to a lifestyle that is contrary to what she’s been taught (*If* that has even been addressed)?

    Who would such a dramatic and traumatic action really benefit?

    Dana (f64b7d)

  86. hmmph. Well you are welcome on my property anytime I think.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  87. Not that I would sully my canine-byproduct-stained shoes by stepping foot on your property.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  88. And, again, I am done with this thread as I have already blown my stack and I don’t have any BP meds.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  89. Wow. Am getting quite a large hostility vibe from feets today. Sounds like a really big chip on the shoulder about Christians (or their beliefs anyway) in general – yes, really – not just a Miller thing. Just sayin’. My two cents about how he’s coming across. Sorry if am misreading but others appear to be getting the same vibe.

    Am sorry that Christians and/or their beliefs make you angry but we believe that some actions are OK, and others (however right they feel and however much we Christians separate lovability of persons and acceptance of their tendencies from non-acceptance of certain actions), are just plain not pleasing to God. Lots of temptations are like this and Christians are just as subject to them as others.

    no one you know (196ed7)

  90. I don’t know that it’s been established that the kid has no memory of her other mom person but if that’s the case then that only makes Lisa Miller look more selfish, deranged and immature I think.

    By her actions Lisa Miller is teaching this child to be a hateful little wench with no integrity.
    This kid is in a no-win situation.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  91. There are Christians and then there are hateful obnoxious wingnut Christians what embarrass and discredit the good Christians I think.

    I know which kind Lisa Miller is.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  92. Happy,

    here, let me say what isn’t being said.

    You’re gay, right? Right?

    And you care passionately about the cause of gay rights.

    I can relate. i have learning disabilities, and i take pretty severe umbrage when someone dumps on the disabled. I get it. Its personal to you.

    But you need to get some perspective here. this is the second time you and i have clashed and you went completely off the rails. the first time was when you claimed gateway pundit was engaged in a gay hate campaign becaus he pointed out that ken jennings seems to be, at best, a little too tolerante of gay statutory rape. you claimed this invoked the fears of gay men being pedos, and while of course historically that has been an issue, the fact is that this particular gay man has been too tolerant of nambla type crap.

    the same thing can be said here. apparently you want to rip this child away from her biological mother, and put her into the arms of someone not related, because she is an evil intolerant christian in her mind. you admit that a person has a right to raise a child according to her values, but then want to deny it to her because you are deeply opposed to her values.

    you have frankly gone off the rails on this, too.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  93. I think what is selfish is Ms. Jenkins stance that “Hey, I was born with a defect that makes mesexually abnormal, but I demand to be accepted as sexually normal, and no one has the right to believe I am not sexually normal. Furthermore, I want the courts to bastardize the concept of marriage as it has existed since its inception, at the expense of society. Finally, I want custody of someone else’s flesh and blood so that I can feel normal, regardless of the effect on an innocent child.

    I think that is a much more shining example of selfishness.

    Matador (176445)

  94. Jim Holt did engage in a hate campaign what regurgitated the inflamed ravings of virulent hate group called Mass resistance. It was and remains a shameful and desperate and hateful campaign.

    but A.W…. if this Lisa Miller cared more about her kid than about her hateful ideology she would have allowed visitation and there would have been no risk whatsoever of her losing custody.

    She’s 100% responsible for what happens to the little girl.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  95. And i will add that that is wholly separate from the reason why the judge is doing this. i think he is doing this because she had the temerity to defy him.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  96. Personally I think Miller has more right to the child as she carried the child for 9 months and delivered the child.

    This seems to be the underlying and unsaid logic when a Heterosexual couple divorces and the Mother gets the child, and does not comply with the Father’s visitation rights. (I’ve been through that wringer personally.)

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  97. *a* virulent hate group I mean… it was also creepy how juvenile and retro the whole campaign was. Very… what was that wingnut what made the creepy fire and brimstone you’re all gonna burn comic books… Hal somebody? That’s what it reminded me of. Like that’s the level of sophistication Jim’s hate campaign was operating on. I will google.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  98. Hm… hating each other’s beliefs seems to be across the board. And given this, it is safe to assume the child has only known one mother,

    The bitter custody dispute has been complicated by accusations of lifestyle impropriety on both sides, as Miller became an evangelical Christian after moving to Virginia and now condemns homosexuality, and Jenkins doesn’t want the child living in a religious home where alternate lifestyles are condemned. Isabella has not lived with Jenkins since she was an infant, and is now enrolled in a Christian school.

    Dana (f64b7d)

  99. Happy

    I will say one other thing. You keep saying that Miller made a commitment. Did she really? As noted, Jenkins never adopted the little girl. So why didn’t she?

    Option 1 is that Jenkins chose not to. Then that means that Jenkins didn’t commit to be the child’s legal mother.

    Option 2 is that Miller refused to let her. And that means that Miller emphatically did not commit to letting Jenkins be anywhere near an equal mother.

    Either way, that means that in fact your commitment argument actually cuts the other way.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  100. Comment by Dana — 12/30/2009 @ 11:38 am

    Comment by Dana — 12/30/2009 @ 12:06 pm

    Very well said. And agreed.

    no one you know (196ed7)

  101. but A.W…. if this Lisa Miller cared more about her kid than about her hateful ideology she would have allowed visitation and there would have been no risk whatsoever of her losing custody.

    Isn’t the converse also true: If this Ms. Jenkins cared more about her kid than about her own hateful ideology, she would allow this child who has only known her birth mother to continue living with her and not willfully traumatize her (the child) by forcing her to move out of state, live in an unfamiliar home with a virtual stranger and in a lifestyle that is contrary to the one she has been brought up with?

    Again, who benefits most from such traumatization?

    Dana (f64b7d)

  102. I guess it depends on if there was visitation allowed before Lisa disallowed it, Dana. But it remains the case that this situation happened cause of choices Lisa made that she didn’t have to make.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  103. oh… here’s that comic book guy… my poor loopy godmother sent me a ton of those when I was little.

    I should call and check on her.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  104. Isn’t the converse also true: If this Ms. Jenkins cared more about her kid than about her own hateful ideology, she would allow this child who has only known her birth mother to continue living with her and not willfully traumatize her (the child) by forcing her to move out of state, live in an unfamiliar home with a virtual stranger and in a lifestyle that is contrary to the one she has been brought up with?

    yes. This is probably true I think.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  105. happyfeet, you assume Lisa disallowed it when perhaps Ms. Jenkins didn’t attempt to visit the child. I stated up in comment #38, that there seems to be a lack of information to make an accurate judgment in this. So as easily as you assume Lisa disallowed visitation, once can as easily assume rather that Ms. Jenkins didn’t avail herself of that opportunity. It’s telling who side you assume for.

    I would also suggest that while you put the burden of the situation at Ms. Miller’s feet, why would Ms. Jenkins feel any right to the child given that she has not lived with her for 6 of her 7 years, did not give birth to her, nor – for whatever reason – been an active participant in her life? Truly, what connection has she to this child?

    Given that, I’m guessing at the root of it is a political point to be made at the expense of a child. And that would be on Ms. Jenkin’s part.

    Dana (f64b7d)

  106. As noted, Jenkins never adopted the little girl.

    What?? For reals? If that’s true then …

    Then I think that this is a complete miscarriage of justice. I don’t get how Jenkins could have not adopted the little girl and still have any kind of case.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  107. But the article above says the judge found that Miller was denying visitation.

    Yes I agree Jenkins is not facing reality with very much grace but that in itself in no way makes Miller look mature stable or sane.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  108. …and why is Jenkins’s possible political point she is attempting to make any more viable and notable than Ms. Miller’s point that she is the actual birth mother who has raised the child for 7 of her 7 years?

    Dana (f64b7d)

  109. All Ms. Miller had to do was allow visitation and the judge wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on.

    At the end of the day this is an actions meet consequences sort of deal, and Lisa Miller is not a very stand up kind of person.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  110. Y’all aren’t being very tolerant of happyfeet. He can set foot on my property anytime he wishes, a good fellow he is.

    JD (8bf6d7)

  111. Jack Chick is a hateful person and sort of a wacko to boot – no argument there. He unequivocally says anyone who doesn’t agree with HIS version of Christianity (even a different Christian denomination, especially Roman Catholic,the “whore of Babylon”) is headed for Hell.

    no one you know (196ed7)

  112. thank you JD… DRJ said straight up this was controversial and boy was she right.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  113. Yes I agree Jenkins is not facing reality with very much grace but that in itself in no way makes Miller look mature stable or sane.

    happyfeet, yet you accuse Ms. Miller of being a hoochie, a skanky behaviored hoochie, a Carrie’s mom type – your expectations of her are apparently much higher than they are of Ms. Jenkins. Why is that? Why do hold Ms. Miller to a higher standard?

    Dana (f64b7d)

  114. Happy

    > Jim Holt did engage in a hate campaign

    Sorry, but all you to do is look at the materials, which included an illustration a young boy scout with an older scout master behind him watching happily as two men engage in anal sex to realize this man is wrong in the head and has no business being our safe schools czar.

    I mean seriously, go here, and read all these posts and see who is telling the truth. http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2009/12/fistgate-xiii-barack-obamas-safe-schools-czar-pushed-book-detailing-sex-between-1st-graders-in-1994/ I say that, at the very least, this man tolerated some serious nambla type crap. We should hate what he was involved with, and we can hate it without hating all gay people.

    Are you really going to pretend that the materials were not genuine, or that glsen didn’t distribute them. or that Jennings was not responsible for any of the conduct of an organization he founded and ran at the relevant times?

    > if this Lisa Miller cared more about her kid than about her hateful ideology she would have allowed visitation

    Spoken like a true fascist. So basically what you are saying is that she has no right to raise her child according to her values, because you don’t like her values. Even your own flesh and blood is not your own, if you don’t follow the state’s ideology. How totalitarian.

    > [me] As noted, Jenkins never adopted the little girl.

    > [you] What?? For reals? If that’s true then … Then I think that this is a complete miscarriage of justice. I don’t get how Jenkins could have not adopted the little girl and still have any kind of case.

    I assume you are being sarcastic, so I will add that when I learned my brother, who has two children—one a step son, and one who is his blood—found out that his wife had cancer, I told him right off the bat “I hate to focus on the worst outcomes, but if you haven’t adopted [the step son] do it now. That is the single best way to make sure your family stays together if she dies.” Adoption confers a legal status of parenthood, conferring both responsibilities and rights. It is sort of like marriage, in that it is a declaration before the world that you are not strangers to this person, that you are family, now. Jenkins never did that for one reason or another.

    I would be wholly open to the idea of treating adoptive parents as literally equal to parents by blood.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  115. Because Ms. Miller is the one denying visitation. Jenkins was granted visitation. Ms. Miller said no you can’t have visitation cause of you’re a dirty dirty dyke. I think that was very rude and in light of her own lesbian tendencies, a bit Crazy.

    It’s not an Offense Against God for a lesbian to visit a kid. I can’t believe people are defending this woman. She’s not normal.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  116. that last was for Dana…

    I’m bored with rehashing Jennings. He’s not now and has never been shown to be inimical to kids. End of story.

    I wasn’t being sarcastic. If Jenkins isn’t an adoptive parent then this makes no sense and of course Miller should by all means retain custody.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  117. Happy

    > It’s not an Offense Against God for a lesbian to visit a kid.

    No, it isn’t. its an offense against miller’s right to raise her children according to her values. which is a God given right.

    i mean jesus h. christ you are an intolerant sod, and in favor of a woman who not only didn’t bear the child but didn’t even do the child the courtesy of adopting her.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  118. I think if the values Miller is instilling in her kid are so tenuous as to be subverted by the odd encounter with a middle-aged lesbian than they are probably not going to prove to be very durable.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  119. Let’s turn this into hypotheticals and see if it changes anyone’s opinions:

    Option 1

    “[Lisa] Miller and [Jim] Jenkins were joined in a Vermont civil union marriage in 2000. Isabella was born to Miller through artificial insemination in 2002. The couple broke up in 2003, and Miller moved to Virginia, renounced homosexuality and became an evangelical Christian. Jenkins became an atheist after their marriage.

    In other words, this is a heterosexual couple who disagree on religion. Can the mother prevent the father from visiting on that basis alone, and would her refusal be a good reason to transfer custody?

    Option 2

    “[Lisa] Miller and [Janet] Jenkins were joined in a Vermont civil union in 2000. Isabella was born to Miller through artificial insemination in 2002. The couple broke up in 2003, and Miller moved to Virginia, renounced homosexuality and became an evangelical Christian and has a new partner that she wants Isabella to bond with.

    In other words, this is a homosexual couple but they disagree on family unit issues, not religion. Can the mother prevent her former partner from visiting on that basis alone, and would her refusal be a good reason to transfer custody?

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  120. It’s not an Offense Against God for a lesbian to visit a kid.
    Comment by happyfeet — 12/30/2009 @ 12:42 pm

    I totally agree with this – assuming the reasonable expectation is that the child isn’t going to be exposed to acceptance of an lifestyle the parent totally objects to. To give an admittedly oversimplified example, assuming no other tendencies like pedophilia (and there are no indications whatsoever of that in this story) would Jenkins be alone over the, say, visitation weekends with the child? Cool. Multiple other sexual partners over many weekends the child is visiting? Not so cool.

    Here’s the heterosexual sorta-equivalent: Say I’m divorced from a guy I know likes to have a lot of one night stands at home. I would definitely object to my 7-year-old regularly visiting weekends in a home where his different women are at the breakfast table all the time, and everyone in the (visitation) home treats it like this behavior is perfectly cool with the values I’m trying to teach.

    Maybe that makes the objection a bit clearer.

    no one you know (196ed7)

  121. DRJ,

    Cross posted before I saw your hypotheticals. They’re good ones and want to think about them for a bit.

    no one you know (196ed7)

  122. Happy,

    now you are just being disingenous. You write:

    > if the values Miller is instilling in her kid are so tenuous as to be subverted by the odd encounter with a middle-aged lesbian

    Except its not just an “odd encounter.” its “this is your other mommy and she is a lesbian.” how can you possibly insert her in as a second mommy, a person to be respected and obeyed, and then turn around and teach your child that being gay is immoral. it doesn’t work. That is percisely why Miller should have the right to cut her out completely. Because a relationship of respect and obediance with a lesbian is wholly incompatable with the values she wants to instill in her child. and you can be as horrified with her values as you want to be, but they are her values and she is entitled to have them and to instill them in her child.

    > than [those values] are probably not going to prove to be very durable.

    Last time i checked the right of a parent to raise their kids according to their values is not contingent on your or anyone else’s estimate of their durability.

    A.W. (b1db52)

  123. Because Ms. Miller is the one denying visitation. Jenkins was granted visitation. Ms. Miller said no you can’t have visitation cause of you’re a dirty dirty dyke. I think that was very rude and in light of her own lesbian tendencies, a bit Crazy. It’s not an Offense Against God for a lesbian to visit a kid. I can’t believe people are defending this woman. She’s not normal.

    happyfeet, it would appear the heart of this issue to you is one of Christianity vs. Homosexuality, and not what is in the best interest of this child. I’m not making a judgement per se but rather we just be honest about the debate.

    As the Christian mother has as much right to teach her child that homosexuality is wrong as does Ms. Jenkins to teach the opposite, that is not and should not be the debate. Rights for both are guaranteed whether or not we like what they espouse.

    I’m reluctant to take a firm position one way or the other because again, there are too many unanswered questions in this story that for me, need to be answered. But as I already pointed out, it appears that if the best interest of the child is truly the most important issue in this, then one cannot ignore nor minimize the birth mother’s constant presence in her daughter’s life, and that she has raised, nurtured and been identified as “mom” throughout this child’s life. This gives her the very distinct advantage.

    You are right that Ms. Miller denied visitation rights and that does appear wrong. However, Ms. Jenkins had all the opportunity to protect her rights in this and adopt the baby but freely chose not to. And with that may have easily forfeited her “parental” right to the child. If she had one in the first place. I look forward to a filling in of the blanks. It would help to have clarity.

    Dana (f64b7d)

  124. DRJ

    For your hypos:

    Option 1:

    You left out one detail. Who is the father of the child?

    If not Jim, then you bet your ass she can. She can raise her child to hate ANYONE. That is her business.

    But if he is, no, she can’t because he has a right to raise his child according to his values, too, and her right only goes as far as it doesn’t infringe on his right.

    But I would add that the clash is not as severe, at least in that hypothetical. I know many Christians, even evangelicals, who don’t insist that all atheists are bad people. Which means that Jim can be set up as a parent without undermining the teachings of the other parent. It is only if Miller decides to teach her child that atheists are bad people that the conflict arises.

    Option 2:

    Absolutely. Miller wants to create a new family unit, tough on Jenkins. Like I have said repeatedly, I am open to the idea of saying that adoption makes you equal to blood parents, but we aren’t in that situation , are we? Jenkins didn’t do what it took to become co-equal, so tough on her.

    A.W. (b1db52)

  125. ok so I’m retarded.

    I didn’t realize that Jenkins wasn’t an adoptive parent.

    It says so very clearly here on page ten of this PDF.

    This Jenkins hoochie needs to go away. Which doesn’t mean Lisa Miller isn’t a whack job.

    Next case please.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  126. Is it confirmed that the child was not adopted?

    JD (b7daf6)

  127. yes – Jenkins for reals didn’t adopt so it’s really nuts for this judge to take away Miller’s kid. And I don’t care what anybody says that’s just how I feel about it.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  128. JD yes, she was not.

    A.W. (b1db52)

  129. happy

    on with the sarcasm. so there was committment to raise the child in a lesbian relationship, but not the kind that involved an actual committment to the child by the “mother” who didn’t actually bear her.

    Let’s face it. there is no reason in your argument.

    A.W. (b1db52)

  130. Newsweek actually ran a thorough piece on this in 2008. It would seem that she was not adopted.

    Regardless, the two amicably split in 2003 after their failed attempt at a second child. Until that point, Miller says, she begged Jenkins to file adoption papers, because she didn’t want Isabella to end up as a ward of the state if something happened to her. “I was told we didn’t need to because we had the civil union,” says Jenkins. “God, if I had only known.”

    “She had plenty of opportunities to visit in those months prior to me filing [for sole custody],” says Miller. “But she kept calling and saying she wasn’t coming. In my opinion, she made it clear that she wanted no part.”

    Dana (f64b7d)

  131. A.W. – I do not think that was sarcasm, in fact, I know it was not.

    JD (b7daf6)

  132. Married couples are presumed to be a child’s legal parents and guardians if the child is born while they are married. I wonder if the Vermont laws and/or this court is extending the same treatment to offspring of civil unions like Isabella?

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  133. I’m completely serious. I shouldn’t have assumed that Jenkins had adopted the kid but I did cause this makes no sense if Jenkins isn’t a legal parent.

    This is ridiculous and I don’t see how it’s controversial at all. This judge is an unequivocal dickhead.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  134. Married couples are presumed to be a child’s legal parents and guardians if the child is born while they are married.

    oh. Then that would change things back to where I’m all contentious and fascist about everything.

    So there would have been no reason at all for Jenkins to adopt if this were how the law worked in Vermont?

    Is the adoption thing a red herring? I will check that pdf again.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  135. happy

    okay, i owe you an apology. i guess one of the hazards of communicating on the web is you often 1) fail to detect sarcasm when it is there, or in my case 2) see it where it doesn’t exist.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  136. Love and conflict don’t ADHERE to state boundaries, and when all that stuff does spill over, it can prove messier than the Exxon Valdez. Like Staver, Jenkins’s pro bono attorney, Joseph Price, knows this all too well. A Washington, D.C.-based lawyer, he has served on the board of Equality Virginia, a gay civil-rights group. “You cannot just shop your case around in different states until you get a ruling in your favor,” says Price, a gay father of two who’s worked on many cases involving same-sex marriages and civil unions. “And that’s essentially what Lisa has tried to do.”

    In court, Price persistently cited the Federal Kidnapping Prevention Act (created to stop parents from taking their kids to another state when they don’t agree with the original ruling). Staver used Virginia’s Marriage Affirmation Act and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (the latter says states can deny recognition of same-sex marriages that are deemed legal in other states) to bolster his client’s case. Last June, it was decided that the kidnapping law trumped the marriage acts, and the Virginia Supreme Court ruled in Jenkins’s favor. Miller’s legal firm hopes to challenge the rulings upheld in Vermont and Virginia by petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case (they’ve had two requests denied and recently filed a third). As it stands, the outcome of Miller v. Jenkins represents a victory for the rights of gay parents.

    Dana (f64b7d)

  137. no – you do NOT owe me an apology…

    I can be annoying. It’s a thing.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  138. hf,

    I don’t think it’s a red herring. The law doesn’t know what to do with civil unions yet, so it’s not clear to me whether Jenkins would have been considered as Isabella’s legal parent and guardian — simply because Miller and Jenkins had a legal civil union when Isabella was born. However, this judge seems to be treating Jenkins as Isabella’s legal parent. Otherwise I don’t see how the judge would grant her custody.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  139. Feminists unite in opposing this decision! This is proof positive that male judges are still willing to side with the man, and slight the woman! The sexist pig!!!

    Icy Texan (f33573)

  140. oh. That’s good cause that’s a place where we can find a consensus I think.

    But contrasting the goofball attorneys what Jenkins has with the goofball attorneys Miller has, I kinda think they all deserve each other and there’s not a one of them what’s focused on the kid I don’t think.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  141. To be clear I think barring any law to the contrary the proper interpretation would be that failing to adopt the kid is not unmeaningful and it was stupid of Jenkins not to have done that. Especially after all the trouble they went through to have the kid.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  142. If this were a matter of the law being unclear on civil unions and these kinds of custody issues, wouldn’t a judge go with the birth mother as legal parent *before* the non-birth parent? What would motivate a judge to recognize Jenkins over Miller?

    Dana (f64b7d)

  143. There was a termination of the civil union (divorce) where custody and visitation were decreed and that’s what controls now.

    nk (df76d4)

  144. The attorneys don’t give two shits about the kid. For them it’s all about winning.

    Icy Texan (f33573)

  145. That’s true, what nk says. Miller was at best very careless to let things get to where they are. Also I think she’s kind of hatey.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  146. My prosecutor friends tell me that they get more requests for adjudication of paternity from unwed daddies who want visitation than from unwed mommies who want child support.

    nk (df76d4)

  147. So, nk, you’re a lawyer, I think…and this is for the other lawyers and those who know too:

    how DO judges determine what to do when, say, a man and woman divorce and the woman (for example) has a strong objection to the life the man is leading and doesn’t want their child around it,even if the activity is legal? Like (legally) gambling quite a lot or whatever?

    no one you know (196ed7)

  148. Comment by (Good looking)
    Dana — 12/30/2009 @ 2:02 pm

    Taht the fate of this little girl could be considered a victory or losss by total strangers with a political agenda bothers me more than a little.

    nk (df76d4)

  149. nk,

    I don’t see how a divorce court could give Jenkins custody if she never adopted Isabella, unless Vermont recognizes birth during a civil union as establishing a parental relationship in the same way birth during marriage does.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  150. Comment by no one you know — 12/30/2009 @ 2:31 pm

    I don’t do divorce, but I do post-decree enforcement of support and visitation pro bono. In Illinois, the rule is the best interest of the child. Mostly, parents love their kids even if they do not love each other and the law recognizes that — legal joint custody is the presumption with the court looking to get both parents to participate as fully as possible in the child’s life. As one judge put it, “A child needs both a mother and a father”. Illinois is kind of backwards that way, that Father LaSalle Catholic thing, you know.

    nk (df76d4)

  151. I think their respective choices of counsel sort of underscores that this is a lot about politics. They both seem to have wanted a fight, really. Cause of how avoidable this was.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  152. I just read the article, it was very interesting, but the whole situation is a massive clusterf—.

    If you believe Miller, then Jenkins was physically abusive toward her. I know this isn’t the law, but in my book that is a third rail. I would never grant custody or visitation to an abusive person if there were anyone else willing to step up. I said this before:

    > Of course blood ties can and in the right circumstances should be overcome. For instance, my sister was once married to an abusive jerk. She had a daughter with him. She divorced him and many years later married a wonderful man. Suppose tomorrow my sister died and I was the judge deciding who got custody of my niece. In that case I would happily say that her step father should have sole custody.

    I didn’t sketch that out in detail, but my logic goes like this. Abuse is passed down from generation to generation, although its transmission is odd. Boys who see daddy beat mommy very often end up being abusers; but the women very often end up being abused. Now why is that? There are only two logical explanations: genetics or upbringing. Now, you can’t do nothing about genetics, but you can do something about upbringing. So even if the abusive jerk doesn’t actually hit the child, I deem them disqualified as parents if only because the child will have a severe likelihood of growing up to being either abused or abusive themselves. And even if they are not, they are still damaged for years. In real life, my sister’s new husband was the child of two parents who had abusive parents. They never mistreated him, but he said they were cold and distant, in sharp contrast to my family and he blamed that bad experience. He actually said he was moved to tears to see how openly affectionate our family is.

    So if Miller is telling the truth, then Jenkins is disqualified from being in this little girl’s life, except… well, we can’t be sure that she’s telling the truth from where we sit. And if she is lying about a thing like that, it goes right to Happy’s comments about her sanity.

    And bluntly both women have troubled histories, that is for sure. Its impossible to know who is telling the truth, but I think you can say that Miller’s story at least has an internal consistency. I think it is totally possible that a girl taught to think men were the devil might mistakenly be taught to think she was a lesbian: so, a false positive. So then her arch going away from homosexuality is consistent in a way.

    Now the Jenkins version is she really is gay, and she is just pretending to be a reformed Christian, I suppose to get free legal help. Well, okay, but the one piece of the puzzle is why she is so mad at Jenkins that she would go to all this trouble to shut her out, including making up stories about what her daughter does when she comes back. So that is the missing piece of the puzzle, and that is nagging at me. But at the same time, should we really expect her to air her dirty laundry. And for that matter, maybe Jenkins is not even being honest with what she did.

    But its really hard to comprehend that anyone would be so mad about anything to go through that much trouble. But then I could tell you stories about actual behavior that I can’t wrap my head around. Like a guy who knowingly received property stolen from me, thinks he had done nothing wrong, and then expected me to break bread with him on Christmas without so much as an apology from him. I ended up throwing his ass on the street. I try to imagine where other people are coming from, but all I keep thinking with him is, “wtf? Who is this idiot?” So I am faced with the reality that some people behave in a way you just can’t figure.

    So back to the topic, if I was a judge, I would look at Miller and Jenkins and say, “what a complete clusterf—.” I guess maybe the evidence makes it clear one person or the other is a liar. But barring that I would go back to my default position in favor of the biological mother. But this case is far messier than the report we have been arguing over all day would suggest.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  153. According to this summary of Vermont’s civil union law by Vermont’s Secretary of State

    http://www.sec.state.vt.us/otherprg/civilunions/civilunions.html#6

    Laws regarding child custody and support. The rights of parties to a civil union, with respect to a child who either has become a natural parent to during the term of the civil union, shall be the same as those of a married couple, with respect to a child who either spouse has become the natural parent to during the marriage.

    nk (df76d4)

  154. So if Vermont folows the common law adage, “If it’s your cow, it’s your calf, no matter whose bull jumped over the fence” for married couples it has to follow it for civil unions.

    nk (df76d4)

  155. Taht the fate of this little girl could be considered a victory or losss by total strangers with a political agenda bothers me more than a little.

    After reading the Newsweek link which provided a rather thorough back story, I felt sick: this little girl is essentially a pawn in the battle of conflicting ideologies of two very messed up and selfish people. Surrounding them are the cause carriers and promoters who will fight to make a 7 year old another proof in their arsenal to further exploit. All for their cause.

    Dana (f64b7d)

  156. I think their respective choices of counsel sort of underscores that this is a lot about politics. They both seem to have wanted a fight, really. Cause of how avoidable this was.

    Comment by happyfeet — 12/30/2009 @ 2:42 pm

    Agree w/ this assessment. Both those legal groups you linked are very politically oriented.

    no one you know (196ed7)

  157. Did Miller’s lawyers tell her to deny visitation?

    I wonder.

    But I agree with A.W. that at least for me I was foolish to take sides so emphatically without knowing more. I think all these people are grotesque.

    Does the order a judge issues with respect to visitation include something about consequences for failing fulfill the terms?

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  158. failing *to* fulfill the terms I mean…

    But it still seems that Miller screwed up and now she’s very close to being a fugitive. Which, that is a Life Choice.

    Foolish.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  159. Illinois is kind of backwards that way, that Father LaSalle Catholic thing, you know.
    Comment by nk — 12/30/2009 @ 2:41 pm

    Heh :) . (Even more amusing since was born in Illinois – but don’t live there now.)

    Thanks for your (actually several) thoughts. One would’ve hoped that in any situation involving visitation or sharing of custody, both parents would want without judicial coercion to put the interest of the child first and refrain from any behavior, including dissing of the other parent, that might “give scandal” (to use an old fashioned term) while the child is around. Unfortunately that’s not always the case, which brings us to….

    Comment by Dana — 12/30/2009 @ 2:53 pm

    That’s what I get from the Newsweek story too. Not that Newsweek doesn’t have an agenda of its own but the thoroughness of the story and presenting of both sides seemed pretty fair and if so, a very sorry situation.

    no one you know (196ed7)

  160. I would not let either of these ladies within 100 yards of my kids.

    I thought the current argument on homosexuality was that it is an immutable characteristic, and not a choice. This case kind of screws with that notion.

    Maybe the sperm donor should get involved. Lord knows that he is going to be sued for child support at some point.

    JD (52faf8)

  161. Maybe the sperm donor should get involved. Lord knows that he is going to be sued for child support at some point.

    Comment by JD — 12/30/2009 @ 3:12 pm

    No, he won’t, if the law was followed (the right papers were signed). He has no rights and no obligations. It’s been settled law for a relatively long time.

    nk (df76d4)

  162. Egg donors too (surrogates), even if they carry the kid in their bellies for nine months and then they split themselves open to let it out, if the right papers are signed.

    nk (df76d4)

  163. But then, JD, what kind of man donates his sperm just to make a buck, with no care or thought to the child that might come his donation? Is that the sort of person you want nurturing, disciplining, training, and being held fully responsible for raising a child?

    With our ever-constant plowing toward modernity and progressiveness, comes many unforeseen complications.

    Dana (f64b7d)

  164. Birth during marriage does not count if the mother is artificially inseminated. In most of the cases I have seen, the husband still has to adopt the child to become a legal guardian of said offspring. Otherwise, a man that had had a vasectomy, whose wife chose to have a baby by artificial means without his consent, then would be required to pay child support for a child which he did not choose to father or have the means to father. Therefore, the judge is totally wrong constitutionally, and is only trying to force his home loving agenda on a Christian.

    peedoffamerican (4cfe75)

  165. Comment by peedoffamerican — 12/30/2009 @ 3:28 pm

    Until very recently, the law did not allow bastardy of a child to be alleged except during divorce on the grounds of adultery. Even now, there is a limitation. In Illinois, it’s five years maximum. If you think your wife’s kid is not yours and you do nothing to prove it’s not yours, it’s yours, and after five years you shut up forever.

    I like the old law better. Keep your cow in the barn or build stronger fences. None of this is the kid’s fault.

    nk (df76d4)

  166. Which is to say that peedoffamerican is wrong about what the law is.

    nk (df76d4)

  167. That’s only because the man could be presumed to be the father because he can biologically produce offspring with a woman. NO WAY NO HOW can a woman be presumed to produce offspring with another woman. It just doesn’t, can’t won’t ever happen.

    peedoffamerican (4cfe75)

  168. Which is to say that nk is wrong about the law.

    peedoffamerican (4cfe75)

  169. Sperm daddy was kind of a throw-away, given the absurdity of the situation as is. I was just trying to figure out how it could get more Lifetime movie-ish.

    JD (52faf8)

  170. Sadly, JD, you know one of the circling sharks already have their two lead actresses in mind…

    Dana (f64b7d)

  171. The law presumes a lot of things that nature never envisioned, peedoffamerican.

    nk (df76d4)

  172. I was just trying to figure out how it could get more Lifetime movie-ish.

    LOL

    Few years ago thought my lifelong free-of-Oprah-or-Lifetime record was clear, when I realized w/ horror that a DVD I’d rented (and mostly liked) was actually a Lifetime movie. (Somehow I missed the big LIFETIME on the cover.) Should have realized it when the dad in the protagonist’s life was presented as a 100% feckless, stuttering, drug-addicted ditz. Anti-male scripts…Grrr….

    no one you know (196ed7)

  173. Name 3.

    peedoffamerican (4cfe75)

  174. And not three that lib judges have pulled outa their ass either. Judges don’t make laws.

    peedoffamerican (4cfe75)

  175. Judges don’t make laws.

    Comment by peedoffamerican — 12/30/2009 @ 4:12 pm

    Well…that’s supposed to be true but that’ll be news to 40 million unborn children killed since Roe v Wade and Doe v. Bolton. Just sayin’….

    no one you know (196ed7)

  176. And that is their interpretation of the law. It is still not the law as the constitution defines Congress with the power of making laws. An invalid interpretation of the US Constitution is not law.

    peedoffamerican (4cfe75)

  177. Thus we now have teens that bash their babies brains out or drown them in a toilet shortly after birth at the prom. And libs are outraged at this behavior. On what grounds do they have any so called right to be outraged at this

    post delivery abortion

    ? After all, teh won even fought the born alive laws.

    peedoffamerican (4cfe75)

  178. Name 3.

    Comment by peedoffamerican — 12/30/2009 @ 4:10 pm

    Ok.

    1. We hold these truths to be self evident (whose we, what is truth, and what is self-evident)
    2. That all men are created equal (really?)
    3. That they are endowed by their Creator (who?) with certain unalienable rights (the only inalienable right is to rejoin the food chain).

    nk (df76d4)

  179. Try again nk. These are not laws, and are not against what is presumed. All men are equal under the presumption of the law. The unalienable presumptions are life, which no man can legally take from you,; liberty, which no man can legally take from you unless you are convicted of a crime,; and the pursuit of happiness, which no man can take from me unless they kill me first because no man can stop me from pursuing happiness even if they lock me in the deepest darkest dungeon.

    peedoffamerican (4cfe75)

  180. Again you are making my point.

    peedoffamerican (4cfe75)

  181. Live long and prosper, peedoffamerican.

    nk (df76d4)

  182. I will give you one to sort of make your point. If the health care bill passes, it will be a travesty of justice, unconstitutional, but not reaaly a presumption against biology.

    peedoffamerican (4cfe75)

  183. Threadjack alert!
    Forgive the intrusion, but I couldn’t resist. My two-cents in response to the parentheticals:

    1. We hold these truths to be self evident (whose we, what is truth, and what is self-evident)

    All Humanity.
    Liberty bestowed by God to each Human Being.
    That which is obvious (think axioms).

    2. That all men are created equal (really?)

    Yes.

    3. That they are endowed by their Creator (who?)…

    God.

    with certain unalienable rights (the only inalienable right is to rejoin the food chain).

    False; rejoining the food chain is an inevitability not an unalienable right. The whole premise of enlighten thought since the Renaissance is the idea of natural rights as part of the human birthright, what TJ called “unalienable rights” (this thinking is traceable to Cicero, of Roman times, and even further back before the Empire — much further).

    This is the whole idea of Liberty; not given to us by man or governments but unalienable in the sense that we are born with these rights (also the genesis of equality is contained in this idea). Several philosophers would build upon this idea which eventually was seized by the Founding Fathers who then predicated a nation upon it – twice. The first experiment; not so good, but the second…unparalleled in the history of the world.

    Threadjack over.

    Pons Asinorum (ea2afc)

  184. Oh, last thing, here is a neat 8-minute animation on the Philosophy of Liberty (okay now threadjack over, really).

    Pons Asinorum (ea2afc)

  185. Pons Asinorum,

    You I respect and I confess that I was yanking peedoffamerican’s chain. There are many legal fictions in the law, but I was never any good as a teacher.

    nk (df76d4)

  186. I respect you too nk. I just can’t resist these types of question 😉

    BTW: don’t sell yourself short. I’ve learned quite a bit from your insights about law. My bet is that you would make a great teacher.

    Pons Asinorum (ea2afc)

  187. Thank you, Pons Ansinorum. The fact is that the law which presumes that a child born within marriage is the child of both of the married people is a very good one in my opinion. It is for the benefit of the child, obligating both “partners” to care for it. The child is faultless to begin with, and it is a good thing for society to value and protect children. Regardless of the biological realities.

    nk (df76d4)

  188. But it’s not very Christian to teach a kid that her other mommy is an Abomination I don’t think.

    Seems like you’re just making up what’s Christian as you go. You should stop doing that. What if someone’s father was a child molester? Is it un-Christian to tell the child his father is bad?

    Gerald A (da888e)

  189. I think I got to a point where I don’t believe anything she says… and beyond that I have no idea which loony parts are hers and which loony parts belong to her Jerry Falwell-blessed squad of lawyers.

    But no I don’t think this lady is any sort of paragon of virtue. She’s a freak. Her ex is also a freak.

    They’re a reality tv pilot not real people.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  190. @187 nk –“The child is faultless to begin with, and it is a good thing for society to value and protect children. Regardless of the biological realities.”

    I agree with you nk. My wife and I have recently been licensed by the county to be adoptive parents. Some of the stories we have heard have truly been heartbreaking.

    Pons Asinorum (ea2afc)

  191. Good information, nk #55. I learn something new every day. Thanks.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  192. oh. #155 I guess.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  193. I think we should reconsider the standing of the best interest of the child standard. I think overemphasizing it tends to actually be counterproductive. You see, it encourages some people to create, by uncooperative or even wrongful actions, fait accompli situations where we say, “well, under the circumstances, we don’t want to disrupt what the child has become accustomed to.” So, what happens, we get kids being raised by folks who exemplify what is NOT good in civilized society. Take the Goldman kidnapping case in Brazil, in which a son was wrongfully kept from his father for 5 years.

    Ira (28a423)

  194. Christians love everyone equally.

    Execpt for homosexuals, whom they single out for very, very special hatred.

    JEA (498d87)

  195. Christians love everyone equally.

    Execpt for homosexuals, whom they single out for very, very special hatred.

    Comment by JEA — 12/31/2009 @ 4:51 am

    *sigh*

    You know, I was going to give you a detailed explanation as to why your first statement is true and your last one very mistaken but your tone isn’t of one looking for truth, I regret to have to point out.

    1. failure to even attempt understanding the POV of those who disagree that certain actions are OK
    2. CLaiming very, very special victim status – check
    3. nearly unbounded self pity – check
    4. dramatic posing for emotional effect – check

    Wish I had the time today to try to get past that huge emotional wall but I don’t. Will refer you to a statement I made above, and these two places instead. That is, if you are able to get past purely-emotional reactions to people who do not agree with you; I do hope so. I also hope you have a good day.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  196. Noyk – JEA prefers to argue with the caricatures in its head. It is easier.

    JD (58e90e)

  197. Nk

    > The rights of parties to a civil union, with respect to a child who either has become a natural parent to during the term of the civil union, shall be the same as those of a married couple, with respect to a child who either spouse has become the natural parent to during the marriage.

    Well, yeah, but there is a big piece missing. what exactly is the rule when a married woman bears a child that obviously is not the child of the father? Like suppose the father was in a horrible industrial accident, and was left looking like a Ken doll down there long before he allegedly conceived. Then what happens?

    > No, he won’t, if the law was followed (the right papers were signed). He has no rights and no obligations. It’s been settled law for a relatively long time.

    Not necessarily in Vermont.

    > I like the old law better. Keep your cow in the barn or build stronger fences. None of this is the kid’s fault.

    That’s all well and good if we are talking about taking responsibility for the child. But we are talking about giving a person a rights over the child.

    And it’s a little ridiculous to say that the declaration of independence is unnatural. You know that is a dodge. He was talking about presumptions in law that were physically impossible in fact. Like let me give you one in Nigeria. Remember that woman who was going to stoned to death because she got pregnant and gave birth something like 15 months after her husband died (meaning she had to have conceived months after he died). Well, ultimately the Nigerian supreme court acquitted her of adultery, and I am glad, but the reasoning was f—ed up. According to that court, Islamic law holds that a man’s sperm can live in a woman for up to 7 months, so the legal presumption was that it was her dead husband’s child and not some other guy. Like I said, I support the outcome but wtf?

    I mean peedoff is talking about things like declaring a man a right to an abortion. Absurdities that actively contradict physics or medical science. Like saying that if one lesbian has a child, presumably the other lesbian is the father.

    > 1. We hold these truths to be self evident (whose we, what is truth, and what is self-evident)

    Well, gee, nk is English not your first language? We is the people signing the document and the people whom they represent.

    Truth is, well, the truth. They were not post-modernists like you. They believe in actual truth.

    And what is self-evident? Keep reading, they are about to tell you. Sheesh.

    > 2. That all men are created equal (really?)

    In the sense that they are all created with equal rights, yes.

    > 3. That they are endowed by their Creator (who?)

    They were intentionally vague on that point. Fill in the appropriate diety.

    > with certain unalienable rights (the only inalienable right is to rejoin the food chain).

    Do you even know what inalienable means? It means that it is something you cannot barter away. And therefore no other person can lawfully claim that you have lost those rights.

    Peedoff

    > Try again nk. These are not laws

    Actually I consider the declaration of independence to have the force of law.

    > All men are equal under the presumption of the law.

    Actually what it is really saying is that not that people are literally equal in intelligence, ability, strength, etc. What they are saying is that they have equal rights, including those inalienable ones.

    > life, which no man can legally take from you

    Well, that is not true either. The founders did recognize a criminal conviction exception, not to mention things like war, etc.

    > and the pursuit of happiness

    Well, that cuts against you a little. I mean, isn’t Jenkins pursuing her happiness? That much seems obvious.

    Ira

    > I think we should reconsider the standing of the best interest of the child standard.

    Well, I think what you have to do is take a slightly more expanded view of that. Sure it is not good to take that boy from brazil, but it isn’t good for children to be kidnapped that way, so while this boy suffers maybe others won’t.

    Well, except that they almost succeeded which might actually encourage others to try it.

    JEA

    > Christians love everyone equally.

    > Execpt for homosexuals, whom they single out for very, very special hatred.

    Sheesh, any person minimally educated about Christianity knows how ignorant that is. You never heard the phrase “hate the sin, love the sinner?”

    And what a shallow comment. Would you say equally that Christians love everyone equally… except murderers. No, we recognize it is okay to disapprove of murder. But you feel that Christians should not disapprove of gay sex. Well, you are entitled to that position, but there is nothing inconsistent with Christian faith to say they don’t.

    And no I am not equating gay sex to murder. I am just saying that there is a world of difference between hating based on actions, and hating based on existence.

    And you apparently love everyone equally.

    Except for Christians, whom you single out for very, very special hatred.

    Hypocrite.

    “You know what I hate about Christians. They hate some people. I hate people who hate people. no one should ever hate people under any circumstance. that is why I hate those people.”

    Dana

    > After reading the Newsweek link which provided a rather thorough back story, I felt sick: this little girl is essentially a pawn in the battle of conflicting ideologies of two very messed up and selfish people.

    I won’t condemn all of them, but most of them. it is possible that one of these mothers is 100% in the wrong. But I would be danged if I knew which one.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  198. He was talking about presumptions in law that were physically impossible in fact.

    Like squiggly bulbs changing the weather. The dirty socialists love gay laws like that.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  199. How’s this for odd? Angelia Robinson had a brother named Donald. Donald was married to a man named Sean. Sean and Donald wanted children, so Sean donated the sperm, an anonymous woman donated the egg, and Angelia rented out her womb. So its not her genes in there at all.

    So now she is seeking custody of the twins she ended up giving birth to. And the judge said basically she had a right to do so, that she was considered the mother just as much as if the egg was hers.

    Like they used to say on Coffee Talk, “discuss.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/31/us/31surrogate.html?_r=1

    my only comment is that it shows that nk is wrong to say that the law is settled in surrogacy arrangements.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  200. From your link, A.W.

    in March 2007 Ms. Robinson filed a lawsuit seeking custody, alleging that she had been coerced into the arrangement.

    Coercion nullifies every contract including surrogacy contracts.

    nk (df76d4)

  201. If there were any contracts signed in the first place. Your link says nothing about that. The right papers have to be signed. I said that.

    nk (df76d4)

  202. There are also other things wrong with the article you linked such as its misrepresentation of the Mary Beth Whitehead case http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_M .

    nk (df76d4)

  203. nk

    Yes, she said she was coerced. But the judge didn’t rely on that. he relied on the precedent in the baby M case which basically said this was equivalent to selling a person. criticize it all you want, but that is what they said.

    the fact is, nk, you are wrong on this area of law, unless you are being very specific to vermont. but it is not settled that surrogacy contracts are legal and enforceable, period.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  204. The precedent in the Baby M case is that the contractual parents, and not the surrogate, got custody, A.W.

    nk (df76d4)

  205. NK

    > The precedent in the Baby M case is that the contractual parents, and not the surrogate, got custody, A.W

    You are either clueless or intentionally misleading. The Baby M case made it clear that surrogacy contracts were illegal, and thus unenforceable and even possibly criminal, at least in NJ. Yes, they won custody of the child, but only because the court felt that was in the child’s best interests, not because of some contract.

    Let’s review this, NK.

    You said this about the birth father in this Vermont lesbian divorce/custody case:

    > if the law was followed (the right papers were signed). He has no rights and no obligations. It’s been settled law for a relatively long time.

    Then you also added:

    > Egg donors too (surrogates), even if they carry the kid in their bellies for nine months and then they split themselves open to let it out, if the right papers are signed.

    So you are saying they have no rights and no obligations because they signed “the right papers.”

    So here is what happened in the Baby M case. A man and his wife couldn’t have children. So they contracted with a woman, the surrogate mother, to donate her egg to be fertilized by his sperm, and then for the baby to be carried in the surrogate mother. And when she gave birth, according to the contract, she would not be the child’s mother. Then as the baby came to term, the surrogate mother decided to keep the baby.

    The couple asserted that they had a contract that extinguished the birth mother’s legal rights—that she lost the custody battle by virtue of having signed the contract. The birth mother, meanwhile, said the contract was unenforceable. So that is what we are talking about, when we talk about the Baby M case (109 N.J. 396).

    Now, here is the opening paragraph to the Baby M case:

    > In this matter the Court is asked to determine the validity of a contract that purports to provide a new way of bringing children into a family. For a fee of $10,000, a woman agrees to be artificially inseminated with the semen of another woman’s husband; she is to conceive a child, carry it to term, and after its birth surrender it to the natural father and his wife. The intent of the contract is that the child’s natural mother will thereafter be forever separated from her child. The wife is to adopt the child, and she and the natural father are to be regarded as its parents for all purposes. The contract providing for this is called a “surrogacy contract,” the natural mother inappropriately called the “surrogate mother.”

    And this is from the conclusion:

    > We have found that our present laws do not permit the surrogacy contract used in this case. Nowhere, however, do we find any legal prohibition against surrogacy when the surrogate mother volunteers, without any payment, to act as a surrogate and is given the right to change her mind and to assert her parental rights.

    In other words, in NJ at least, you CAN’T sign away your parental rights. So the contract has no legal force.

    As far as why the natural father and his wife gained custody of the child, the court specifically explained that decision as follows:

    > Although in this case we grant custody to the natural father, the evidence having clearly proved such custody to be in the best interests of the infant, we void both the termination of the surrogate mother’s parental rights and the adoption of the child by the wife/stepparent.

    In other words, they did not give him custody because of the contract but because it was determined he was a better parent. The termination of her rights operated by the contract was reversed, and so was the adoption.

    The fact that the birth father won that battle, and the birth mother lost doesn’t mean that surrogacy contracts are legal, you twit. It just meant that the courts in NJ decided she was a less fit parent on grounds wholly unrelated to the fact she was the “surrogate mother.”

    And just poking a little on the web it appears that Vermont has not come out with a clear ruling for or against such arrangements. So the correct answer way back when is that the sperm donor might still have rights and there would be no way to know for sure until and unless the Vermont courts rule on the matter. And it is factually incorrect to say that this is a matter of settled law. Sheesh.

    Next time you talk about the law and precedents, I suggest you start by learning to read a case.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  206. and let me add, i am not anti-surrogacy. honestly, i am of two minds about it, more because i am concerned about the unintended consquences rather than being appalled by the arrangement in and of itself. but it annoys me when someone says something is settled law when it isn’t.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  207. Next time you talk about the law and precedents, I suggest you start by learning to read a case.

    Comment by A.W. — 12/31/2009 @ 11:57 am

    You’re right, A.W. I’m signing up for night school law courses right away. A remedial reading class, too.

    nk (df76d4)


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