Earlier this year, Lisa Miller kidnapped her daughter Isabella and disappeared in order to avoid complying with a court ruling granting custody of the child to her former partner, Janet Jenkins; a ruling that came about due precisely to the fact that Miller had repeatedly refused to abide by court-ordered custody arrangements. Miller was recently held in contempt of court and now faces arrest.
Shortly after Miller disappeared, Liberty Counsel, which had represented her for years and turned her into a right-wing celebrity, tried to wash its hands of her, at least as it pertained to her legal representation in Vermont but the effort was rejected by the judge.
For the most part, Liberty Counsel has steadfastly refused to comment on the case, which is a notable change considering that they used to release public statements regularly every time they were in court or filed a brief on Miller’s behalf, saying only that they don’t know where Miller has gone.
But now, via Lez Get Real, we find out that LC has filed an appeal on Miler’s behalf in the Vermont Supreme Court, seeking to overturn the Vermont trial judge’s custody ruling.
Signed by LC’s Mat Staver, Stephen Crampton, and Rena Lindevaldsen, the brief [PDF] claims that the trial judge violated Miller’s constitutional rights in granting custody to Jenkins and claims that several of the trial courts’ factual findings should be reversed, blaming the tension between the two women entirely on Jenkins.
LC states that Jenkins position that “Miller’s beliefs concerning homosexuality [are] bigoted and hateful” has created a hostile environment between the two women, as has the fact that Jenkins “would not permit [Isabella] to attend a conservative, Bible-believing church such as [Isabella] attended in Virginia” and “wouldn’t allow [Isabella] to attend a church that taught that homosexuality is a sin” even though Isabella “has already made the personal decision to accept Christ as her Savior, reads the Bible daily and knows from reading the Bible what is right and wrong.”
So basically, LC’s position is that it was Jenkins’ refusal to support Miller’s new-found ex-gay Christian beliefs that homosexuality is an abomination and take Isabella to a Jerry Falwell-like church in Vermont during her visitations where she could be taught that sort of lesson from the pulpit that created a hostile environment between the two women and forced Miller to cut off all contact between Jenkins and Isabella.
I have to say that I think Miller might have been better off had Liberty Counsel been able to pull out of representing her in Vermont as the organization tried to do last month, because this is just pathetic.