Virginia's highest court ruled Friday that the state must enforce a Vermont court order awarding child-visitation rights to a mother's former lesbian partner.
The Virginia Supreme Court rejected Lisa Miller's claim that a lower court improperly ignored a Virginia law and a state constitutional amendment that prohibit same-sex unions and the recognition of such arrangements from other states.
The ruling was a victory for Janet Jenkins, who has been fighting for visitation rights since the dissolution of the civil union she and Miller obtained in Vermont in 2000. In 2002, Miller gave birth to the daughter, Isabella, who now is at the center of a legal battle closely watched by national conservative and gay rights groups.
Miller renounced homosexuality and moved back to Virginia with the child after the couple split, and she has fought Jenkins' visitation efforts. However, the Supreme Court ruled that a federal law aimed at preventing parents from crossing state lines to evade a custody ruling requires Virginia to enforce Vermont's order.