I don't know about you, but sometimes when I read about the big court cases, etc. I fail to realize that these are real people--somebody's mom, dad, child, neighbor.
I had read about Lisa's situation in a news magazine, then I found out that some folk who are members of the church I pastor are her close friends. In fact she and her daughter Isabella recently visited with us here at Covington Bible Church.
In a nutshell, here is her story. I'm sure there are details that are left out, but this is the gist. Lisa and her lesbian lover entered into a civil union in the state of Vermont. Lisa was impregnated by artificial insemination, resulting in the birth of Isabella. At some point there was a seperation. Lisa and Isabella live in Virginia, which does not recognize civil unions of this sort. Lisa came to know Christ as Savior and has rejected her former lifestyle. As a single mom, she is seeking to raise Isabella in a Christian home.
There is a duel between court systems. In VA Lisa has custody of her daughter. In Vermont there has been another decree. In the past, maybe still, if Lisa entered Vermont she could be arrested for failure to obey the decree of the court there. Lisa is fighting for the right raise Isabella in a Christian home. Her former partner has no real claim--other than a civil union which never should have taken place--on Isabella. She is not her mother, and obviously is not her dad. Yet Vermont courts have awarded some form of custody to Lisa's former partner.
Below is a prayer request I received from Lisa:
Please feel free to forward this email to those who you feel will pray for the upcoming hearings.
Dear Family and Friends in Christ,
March 12, 2008
Please remember Dave Corey in your prayers as he travels to Vermont to represent me tomorrow in my upcoming Vermont Supreme Court hearing. We have only 5 minutes to "argue" our side of the case. Our side is simply put as "what is happening in Vermont should not be happening". In other words, the civil union should be null and void due to their state law which reads something like the following:
if a home state does not recognize a civil union then the civil union is null and void in the state of Vermont.
When I entered into a civil union I was living in the state of Virginia. Therefore, the civil union should be null and void. As we know, however, this is not the stance that the Vermont Supreme Court or the Rutland Family Court (Judge Cohen) has taken.
Please pray for God's will as David argues this valid point. In addition, please pray for a miracle as the "non-denigrating statement" (this is what it is actually called in the court documents) in on the table as well. In August 2007, Judge Cohen in Vermont mandated that I was not allowed to speak of homosexuality as a sin, nor am I allowed to teach Isabella, my daughter, that anything is wrong with homosexuality in God's eyes. Even if Isabella asks questions about the homosexual lifestyle I am not allowed to answer them with a Biblical answer because the opposition states that it denigrates Janet and other homosexuals. This non-denigrating statement basically prohibits me from sharing with my own daughter how God saved me from my sinful past of homosexuality. This non-denigrating statement, if not overturned, will allow the gays and lesbians to further their agenda in regard to passing the hate crime bill which in turn will prohibit even Pastors from speaking about God's will in regard to the sin of homosexuality.
Please continue to pray for the upcoming Virginia Supreme Court which is scheduled sometime during the week of April 14, 2008. As soon as I know an exact date I will let you know. Please pray particularly for Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Hassell. He is a God fearing man and he needs our prayers!
Thank you for your prayers.
Joyfully Serving Christ,
Lisa MillerMatthew 18:19-20