Virginia vs. Vermont

A biting Washington Post editorial today gives us a watered down preview of the future envisioned by the backers of the Marshall/Newman amendment: A Virginia that elevates anti-gay animus to a constitutional principle, above federal law and above simple human decency.

If the “legally flawed and morally reprehensible” ruling by a Virginia judge in this case represents the “proper” interpretation of the “Affirmation of Marriage Act,” then what can we expect from the far more damaging constitutional amendment, which extends its intrusion into ALL unmarried relationships?

Virginia vs. Vermont
Washington Post
August 9, 206

Virginia should step aside — and let Janet Miller-Jenkins see her daughter.

ISABELLA MILLER-JENKINS has two mommies. That isn’t a big deal these days, and it shouldn’t be, except for this: Isabella’s biological mother, Lisa Miller-Jenkins, doesn’t want her former partner, Janet Miller-Jenkins, to have any visitation rights — though the two women decided together to conceive the child (Lisa had artificial insemination through an anonymous donor they jointly selected) and raised her together. When they split up two years ago, Lisa Miller-Jenkins initially acknowledged that Janet was Isabella’s parent and asked that Janet be given “suitable parent-child contact.” A judge in Vermont, where the couple had been living, agreed.

But then Lisa, who moved back home to Virginia after they split, changed her mind. And in a legally flawed and morally reprehensible decision, a state court judge in Virginia backed Lisa.

Read the editorial

The editors go on to point out that neither Vermont’s civil union law nor Virginia’s anti-gay, anti-civil union law is relevent to the issue in this case: the best interests of a child in an interstate custody dispute.

Virginia doesn’t care. There could be no clearer illustration of the fact that Virginia courts do not feel bound by higher law or constitutional principles. Marshall/Newman is, and is intended to be, “Virginia’s small-minded reaction” on steroids.

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