Thursday, August 26, 2004

Judge Nixes Same-Sex Unions

Virginia Judge Voids Same-Sex Unions
United Press International

A judge in Virginia, handing down a decision in a custody case, has ruled same-sex civil unions in Vermont do not bestow parental rights.

Frederick County Circuit Judge John Prosser said laws in Vermont, which have allowed civil unions of same-sex couples since 2000, and Virginia, which last year enacted a statute that says such unions are void, are in conflict. He said, however, he must be guided by Virginia law.

Prosser then ruled the biological mother of the 2-year-old girl at the center of the case was a sole parent, the Washington Post reported.

Lisa Miller-Jenkins and Janet Miller-Jenkins entered into a civil union in Vermont in 2000 and decided to have a child through artificial insemination. That child was born to Lisa-Miller-Jenkins in 2002. The couple, however, has since split and Prosser's ruling rejected Janet Miller-Jenkins' request for equal custody, the Winchester Star reported.

The case is complicated by Lisa Miller-Jenkins' residence in Virginia, where she said she moved to be near family, and Janet Miller-Jenkins remaining in Vermont.

Another custody battle between the two women is ongoing in Vermont courts. It was not known what effect the Virginia ruling would have on that action.

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