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USA: Judge ends warring lesbians' union

Tue 19 Jun 2007 In: International News

In the latest twist in an ongoing battle between two women over a child they intended to raise together a Family Court judge in the US state of Vermont has terminated their civil union. At the heart of the dispute between the women was a little girl named Isabelle who was conceived through artificial insemination to Lisa Miller-Jenkins. At the time she was in a relationship with Janet Miller-Jenkins which had been formalised by a civil union in Vermont where they resided. When the relationship between the two women soured and they split up a lengthy legal battle in two states ensued. Lisa Miller-Jenkins fled with her daughter to Virginia which has some of the most anti-gay legislation in the country. She then went to court in that state seeking sole custody of the child. Janet Miller-Jenkins fought the application on the grounds that the case was already before the court in Vermont. Last November the Virginia Court of Appeals ruled that the state of Vermont has jurisdiction in the case, and threw out Prosser's ruling and in May the Virginia Supreme Court allowed that ruling to stand. The US Supreme Court declined to become involved in which state had authority in the case. In dissolving the civil union between the women Rutland County Family Court Judge William Cohen awarded custody of Isabella Miller-Jenkins to Lisa Miller, her biological mother. But Cohen also granted regular visitation between the child and Janet Jenkins. Starting in August, Jenkins and Isabella are to spend every other weekend together, alternating between Vermont and Virginia. Cohen noted that Miller agreed to abide by the ruling. Attorneys for the women declined to comment on the case. Ref: (m)    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Tuesday, 19th June 2007 - 12:00pm

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