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August 23, 2004

HSLDA Files Amicus Brief in Virginia Same-Sex Case

On Friday, August 20, 2004, Home School Legal Defense Association filed an amicus curiae brief supporting Lisa Miller-Jenkins, a mother in Virginia who is trying to retain sole custody of her daughter Isabella, and defending the traditional legal view of marriage as between one man and one woman only.

Lisa was formerly involved in a relationship with Janet Miller-Jenkins. Although they lived in Virginia, they entered a civil union in Vermont in 2000. Two years later, Lisa, Janet, and Lisa's daughter Isabella moved to Vermont.

Last year, Lisa ended the relationship and moved back to Virginia with her daughter Isabella. According to Stephen Cable, president of Vermont Renewal, Lisa has rejected her past. He says that "with the help of counselors, church, and a Christian brother, she has begun to turn around her life." Lisa filed for dissolution of the civil union in Vermont and also filed a petition in Virginia to be declared Isabella's only parent.

"Parents' rights are recognized as a constitutional right even though they aren't specifically mentioned in the Constitution, and that has been the key to much of our success in defending homeschooling parents," said Michael Farris, Chairman and General Counsel of HSLDA. "The Supreme Court has said that parental rights are based on Western civilization concepts of the family, so anything that attacks the traditional concept of the family also attacks parental rights. That is what makes this case so important to Home School Legal Defense Association."

Believing that the traditional concept of marriage and parental rights needs to be supported, HSLDA filed a brief as a "Friend of the Court" (Amicus Curiae), arguing that Virginia law allows the court to declare Lisa Isabella's mother, and not recognize any other custody proceedings that may be going on in other states, such as Vermont.

 Other Resources

Why HSLDA is Fighting Against Same-Sex Marriage