Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Woman in high-profile same-sex custody case arrested after 10 years on the run

Lisa Miller (left) will now face the consequences for kidnapping her daughter instead of giving custody over to her other mother, Janet Jenkins (right) like she was ordered to by the courts.

Ten years ago, "ex-lesbian" Lisa Miller kidnapped her own daughter, Isabella, and ran away to Nicaragua rather than giving custody over to her former civil union partner Janet Jenkins. Custody was given to Jenkins after Miller refused to give her court ordered (and initially agreed upon by both parties)  visitation rights. It was alleged that anti-LGBTQ hate groups and figures helped Miller flee the country. But as of January of this year, Miller is back. She surrendered herself and was taken into custody. 

From the online site Heavy:

Lisa Miller, a former Vermont woman wanted for more than a decade in a high-profile same sex child custody case, has been arrested after turning herself in. She was wanted since 2010 when a warrant for her arrest was issued after she was accused of fleeing the country with the child she had during a since dissolved civil union. 

Miller fought to keep the child from her former domestic partner, Janet Jenkins, and when the courts eventually sided with Jenkins, she vanished. Her arrest was reported by The Associated Press and other news outlets. The case generated major news coverage at the time because it raised questions about the rights of same-sex couples, especially when different states offered different laws on civil unions. Miller said she had forsaken her homosexuality and was aligned with Christian causes, including Liberty Counsel, a legal group.

Isabella, who is now an 18-year-old, did not  return with Miller. According to the Associated Press:

Sarah Star, the Vermont attorney for Lisa Miller's former civil union partner Janet Jenkins, of Fair Haven, Vermont, said Jenkins is concerned that the child, Isabella, who is now an adult, did not return to the United States from Nicaragua. “I just want Isabella to know that I love her very much and that I have never stopped loving her,” Jenkins said in a news release issued by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has been representing her in a civil lawsuit against the people they allege helped Miller and her daughter flee. “Isabella has a family and support system here who will always welcome her home with open arms.”

As of now, it is not publicly known why Miller decided to return, but I'm sure the reason will be given soon enough. At the time of the incident, she kidnapped Isabella because it was certain that she would lose her court case (which really was her own fault ). One wonders everything will play out now.

Editor's note - Heavy has a complete breakdown of the controversy, which I suggest folks read now before the religious right attempt to distort it as they did 10 years ago. A special hat tip goes out to VTDigger.

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