When I got to page 32 of the magazine, I stopped. This is what I read. It’s the story of Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller. Actually, it’s the story of their daughter Isabella.
Here’s what it boils down to: Janet meets Lisa at an AA meeting. They fall in love. They get married in Vermont, who recognizes same sex unions (yea!). They decide to have a child together. Lisa volunteers her uterus to host the chils. Welome Baby Isabella. Seventeen months later, Lisa and Janet split. Lisa moves back to her hometown and, with the help of her pastor brother, has a personal epiphany that homosexuality is a sin and rejects her former life. She refuses to allow Isabella to visit her other mom, violating numerous court orders along the way. Because Lisa’s new home state does not recognize same sex unions, the courts are a bit up in arms over that Janet’s parental rights are.
The Newsweek piece articulates the legal implications much better than I can, but what really makes me sad is the taffy pull that must be going on in the child’s head and heart. I can only imagine what it must be like to be told that your mom is pervert and a sinner by your other mom. I can’t even begin to grasp the agony Lisa must feel over the separation from her child. At the same time, I can appreciate Janet’s well-intentioned, but misplaced passion for protecting her child.
There are no easy answers here. I don’t envy the judges in this case. It’s gonna take a Christmas miracle to resolve this one. For Isabella’s sake, here’s hoping.
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