Waldlaw Blog

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Virginia Upholds Vermont Parentage Order

Lesbian and gay families are certainly "in the news" this month! First, today's news: This morning, the Court of Appeals of Virginia ruled that a mother was in violation of the federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act when she took her daughter and moved from Vermont to Virginia in an effort to avoid giving her ex-partner visitation rights. (I blogged about this case on August 4, 2006, after the Vermont Supreme Court ruled.) This is a HUGE victory for children and an important clarification of the law for all same-sex families. It means that a parent that lives in a state that provides protection to lesbian and gay families cannot avoid those protections by taking the child to another state. To put it bluntly, we just dodged a bullet -- and got an indication that even states like Virginia, which are actively inimical to LGBT families, will uphold judgments of other states benefiting our families. This is great news. But here's the most amazing thing. Sometimes -- like last summer -- it has felt like every time I picked up the newspaper there has been more depressing news. Last summer, we lost case after case and saw the radical right mobilizing like never before to attack LGBT families with children. Now, the past month has brought us: A 3-part series in the L.A. Times -- called "Fathers in the Making" -- following the ordeal of a gay male couple trying to have a child through surrogacy; a New York Times article titled "Gay Donor or Gay Dad?" on the complexity of known donor inseminations in the LGBT community; and a long article in Redbook on "The Changing Shape of the American Family." Each of these articles has presented LGBT families in a positive light. And now we've won the Miller-Jenkins case in Virginia (although knowing Liberty Counsel, they probably will appeal the decision to the Virginia Supreme Court). And we just won a case in Pennsylvania where the non-biological mother of two children was given custody of those children over the objection of the biological mother, based on the trial court's finding that she was far better able to parent the children. And a baby born to lesbian moms in New Jersey last week will get to have both of her moms' names on her birth certificate, because of the New Jersey Supreme Court's ruling that gay couples deserve full equality under the Constitution. So, during this Thanksgiving season, I am happy to report that we who fight for LGBT families have much to be thankful for. Happy belated Thanksgiving from Waldlaw!


  • I enjoy reading your blog enteries and think that you are doing a great justice to the "non-traditional" family audience! Keep it up!!

    By Blogger Latashia, at 10:55 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home