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Miller v. Jenkins Makes the Case for Traditional Marriage

Washington, D.C. — Eagle Forum, a leading pro-family organization founded by Phyllis Schlafly, joins Concerned Women for America (CWA) today to pray that Virginia's Marriage Affirmation Act, the state constitutional amendment, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will be upheld by the Virginia Supreme Court after hearing Miller v. Jenkins. This case addresses three hot-button issues: parental rights, states' rights, and homosexual civil unions.

In 2000, while both living in Virginia, Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins entered into a Vermont same-sex civil union, since Virginia does not recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships. Lisa later gave birth to a daughter in Virginia, as a result of artificial insemination from an anonymous donor. Although the relationship has since ended and the civil union was dissolved in Vermont, Ms. Jenkins is now seeking parental rights over Isabella, Miller's now six-year-old daughter. Jenkins was awarded frequent visitation rights by Vermont Courts despite the fact that she has neither a biological nor an adoptive relationship.

The case is now before the Virginia Supreme Court, as a lower Virginia court ruled in Vermont's favor. If the Virginia Supreme Court's decision goes against the Vermont Supreme Court's ruing, the case will likely be sent to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court will hear the oral arguments at 9:00am on April 17th at the Old Bell Tower, Capitol Square, Richmond, Virginia. A press conference will follow at 10:00am.

"The overarching lesson of this highly complicated and unfortunate situation is that marriage must never be changed to mean merely two consenting persons agreeing to share quarters and start applying to the government and to employers for economic benefits," said Executive Director Jessica Echard. "Marriage must continue to be recognized as the essential unit of a stable society wherein husbands and wives provide a home and role models for the rearing of children.

"Only elected representatives, not judges, can make laws," concluded Echard. "We urge the Virginia Supreme Court to disregard Vermont's activist judges and to uphold Virginia's state laws."

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