Ruth Speaks Out

This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.

What Lisa Miller has to do with same sex marriage

Posted on Friday, January 15, 2010

This 2008 interview with Lisa Miller takes on new significance, in the light of the fact that she has gone into hiding to prevent the forced transfer of custody of her daughter to Janet Jenkins. The Miller Jenkins case also has significance for the Prop 8 trial. This case gives a taste of how redefining parenthood can easily come in the wake of redefining marriage. That's because the VT civil union between Miller and Jenkins is the basis for the judge's decision to award parental rights to a person who is not related to the child, either by birth or adoption. Let us call her a non-parent. Translation: the judge is transferring custody of a child from a (perfectly fit) parent to a non-parent. But I digress. I wanted to call attention to this interview, because it has a number of appalling features, even within an already appalling case.  I am aware that this interview is Lisa Miller's POV. The facts she alleges here may or may not be true.  I am not aware of which of these facts have been substantiated by the court, or which have even been brought up in court. But, I sure haven't heard most of this information in the media, in spite of following the case pretty closely. 1. There is anti-father bias just below the surface of this case in this sense. She alleges that there was abuse in her relationship with Janet Jenkins.
I didn’t start living with Janet until 1998 – I met her in Dec, ‘97 and I moved in probably around May or June of 1998 and I actually, ended up leaving her in 1999 because the relationship had turned violent.  She had tried to throw me out – she was physically and verbally abusive.  And when one night, she just totally blew up and she said that she wanted to kill me and she called her father to come and sit until she calmed down.
 She implicitly alleges that Janet abused her daughter during the court-ordered unsupervised visits.
…Last year, Isabella put a comb up to her neck and said she wanted to kill herself after one of the visits.  She took a comb and pressed it into her neck and said, “I want to kill myself.”  I don’t know where she got that.  It was immediately after a visit.  Other people have seen huge changes.  She also started openly masturbating which is not something that my child has done.  She is 6 now but this started when she was 5 – after visits.  The very first time that Janet ever saw Isabella after the two and a half years, her very first over-night visit – the court ordered it and I allowed it because it was in Virginia and she was supposed to have been supervised by her parents, Isabella came home and said, “Mommy, will you please tell Janet that I don’t have to take a bath anymore at her house.”  I asked her what happened.  She said, “Janet took a bath with me.”  I asked her if she had a bathing suit on.  “No, Mommy.”  She had no clothes on and it totally scared Isabella.  She had never seen this woman except once in 2 ½ years and she takes a bath with her. 
If a mother made these allegations against a father, the mere allegation would be sufficient to keep the father from ever seeing his child unsupervised, in many, many courts.  Allegations of abuse, especially sexual abuse, are considered "the nuclear option" in disputed child custody cases. Why have we heard nothing about it in this dispute between two women?  Could it be that the family court, under the influence of feminist ideology, is unable to see or acknowledge that women can be abusive?
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