bunch of jerks conservative lobbying group called the Family Research Council has issued a statement saying that gay people don’t have the right to keep their kids from getting kidnapped by the non-custodial parent.
The case they’re talking about is that of Isabella Miller-Jenkins, whose two moms conceived her using a sperm donor and artificial insemination. Then the moms split up, the bio-mom getting primary custody and mom #2 getting visitation. But bio-mom found religion, renounced homosexuality, and decided she didn’t want Isabella to have anything to do with her other mother. She refused to abide by the visitation agreement, and after awhile the judge got fed up and awarded custody of Isabella to mom #2. At which point bio-mom took the child and vanished.
That was three years ago and no one seems to know where either of them are. From this New York Times article from last summer:
Isabella Miller-Jenkins has spent her last three birthdays on the run, “bouncing around the barrios of Nicaragua,” as one federal agent put it, a lively blond girl and her mother trying to blend in and elude the United States marshals who have traveled to the country in pursuit.
She can now chatter in Spanish, but her time in Nicaragua has often been lonely, those who have met her say, long on prayer but isolated. She has been told that she could be wrenched from her mother if they are caught. She has also been told that the other woman she once called “Mama,” Ms. Miller’s former partner from a civil union in Vermont that she has since renounced, cannot go to heaven because she lives in sin with women.
This makes me no more and no less angry than any other parental abduction case. Whatever you think about gay marriage, evangelical Christianity and so on, Lisa Miller broke the law, yanked Isabella out of her life and took her on the run, and deprived her of a relationship with a woman who had loved her from the day she was born. There’s nothing Christian about that and I’m pretty sure Jesus (who never said ANYTHING about gayness that we know of) would not approve. Lisa Miller said she believed Janet Jenkins should only be considered Isabella’s “friend” rather than her mother, but as Janet pointed out, people don’t pay child support for their friends.
The Family Research Council is saying that because the gay parent has no biological relation to the child, they should have no rights. But, as the article points out, quoting Queerty,
Queerty points out that parenthood has never been solely about biology, however.
“Millions of straight Americans adopt, foster, use surrogates and IV treatments, and otherwise parent kids that are not biologically related to them,” Queerty’s Dan Avery writes. “Including, we can only assume, members of the FRC.”
A commenter on the article has something interesting to say:
I wonder if these guys know how often they push otherwise un-involved people towards the side of marriage equality. I’ve always thought LGBT rights should be equal, but truth be told I never actively involved myself until I started hearing these folks’ statements about “biological” families and their superiority to all other families. I’m not LGBT, but I am adopted. It made me think, if my family as an adopted family, could be relegated to “lesser than” based on religion, out-dated studies, and personal opinions….then what must it be like to already be relegated to lesser than with fewer rights and protections for one’s family. As soon as that thought entered my mind, my activism level shot way up.