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Vt. judge: Birth mom must transfer custody of 7-year-old daughter to former lesbian partner
The Associated Press ^ | Dec. 30, 2009 | Wilson Ring

Posted on 12/30/2009 7:39:32 AM PST by walford

...Miller and Jenkins were joined in a Vermont civil union in 2000. Isabella was born to Miller through artificial insemination in 2002. The couple broke up in 2003, and Miller moved to Virginia, renounced homosexuality and became an evangelical Christian.

Cohen awarded custody of the girl to Jenkins on Nov. 20 after finding Miller in contempt of court for denying Jenkins access to the girl.

The judge said the only way to ensure equal access to the child was to switch custody. He also said the benefits to the child of having access to both parents would be worth the difficulties of the change...

(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; US: Vermont; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: activistcourts; celebrateperversity; children; civilunions; culturewar; exgays; gaymarriage; homosexualagenda; homosexuality; judicialactivism; judicialtyranny; kidnapping; parentalrights; ruling; samesexadoption
I am more than reluctant to interfere with what consenting adults do with each other so long as it doesn't affect others. In this case, a child's welfare hangs in the balance.

I have therefore been wavering on the homosexual marriage issue, but this case tilts me against it. The birth mother is also the genetic mother and the father is turkey-baster.

The mother decided to renounce homosexuality and to try to raise her child outside of that milieu. The child has only known her current [non-homosexual] way of life since she was an infant.

The problem is, there was a government-sanctioned "marriage" involved that obligated visitation. Opting the child out of exposure to normalized homosexuality was thus legally denied the mother.

I am increasingly distressed how children [in hetero and homo marriages] are regarded by the Courts as property to whom parents are entitled. What is good for the child seems to be of only passing interest as indulging the parents' whims seems to be paramount.

Homosexual marriage also opens the door to the government sanctioning of just about any other mix-and-match combination. There are polyamorous groupings [those with 3 or more "partners"] out there who would have every reason to justify having their relationships sanctioned by the government also. These would then be protected by the Courts and eligible for taxpayer support as well.

Again, I am not happy about the government having to take a stand on this issue one way or the other, preferring instead to let people associate privately as they see fit. But when it comes to childrens' interests and having the rest of us being forced to accept -- and even subsidize a lifestyle to which we may object -- I must draw the line.

1 posted on 12/30/2009 7:39:33 AM PST by walford
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To: walford

They can hide at my place.


2 posted on 12/30/2009 7:41:05 AM PST by american_ranger (Never ever use DirecTV)
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To: american_ranger

People need to drag the judge into the streets and do real justice.


3 posted on 12/30/2009 7:42:15 AM PST by shankbear (Al-Qaeda grew while Monica blew)
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To: walford

Did she adopt the baby? If she did she is a parent... and the courts cannot adjure her rights.


4 posted on 12/30/2009 7:42:43 AM PST by Chickensoup (We have the government we deserve.)
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To: american_ranger

Amen! This sick Judge Cohen wants to turn over this precious child to a pervert who had absolutely nothing to do with its birth.


5 posted on 12/30/2009 7:43:34 AM PST by Comparative Advantage
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To: walford

It also really seems wrong that custody is being pulled from the parent as punishment—in this case, contempt of court. What ever happened to a fine or a weekend in jail?


6 posted on 12/30/2009 7:45:06 AM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Liberalism is a social disease.)
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To: walford
I am increasingly distressed how children [in hetero and homo marriages] are regarded by the Courts as property to whom parents are entitled. What is good for the child seems to be of only passing interest as indulging the parents' whims seems to be paramount.

Many Judges see themselves as agents of social change, just ask any wise latina.

7 posted on 12/30/2009 7:48:19 AM PST by D Rider
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To: american_ranger

Sodom, the perverts are gaining control of the US. We will all be underground if this keeps up.


8 posted on 12/30/2009 7:48:27 AM PST by steve0 (My plan B: christianexodus.org/)
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To: Chickensoup

“Did she adopt the baby? If she did she is a parent... and the courts cannot adjure her rights.”

If you are referring to the “other” [non-birth] mother who is still a lesbian, the article doesn’t say. Likely that is the case.

Homosexual marriage permits such adoptions and they must be respected in all 50 states — hence my objection. It is not in the interests of children and forces everyone else to support it.


9 posted on 12/30/2009 7:48:40 AM PST by walford (http://the-big-pic.org)
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To: walford

whoa


10 posted on 12/30/2009 7:50:07 AM PST by happinesswithoutpeace (Nobody move, Nobody get hurt)
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To: walford

I wonder if that judge wears body armor. If not he should probably start.


11 posted on 12/30/2009 7:51:14 AM PST by Centurion2000 (Something is seriously wrong when the .gov plans to treat citizens worse than they treat terrorists)
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To: walford

I doubt the court would take the child away from the birth mom if the spouse was a male.


12 posted on 12/30/2009 7:52:20 AM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

This is the world that the libtard fisters want and that the a**holes gave him who voted for the Kenyan. It is an upside down world and those of us who cherish freedom and honor God better figure out how to take it back. My prediction is that to do so involves having the pendulum swing really hard right which will be bad news for the libtards and their ilk. Be prepared for the inner cities to explode when we cut off the government spigot to the freeloaders, which will help in a way as the rabble will attack anyone who has what they want meaning the gun-adverse libtards will be first to go. Kiss their a**es goodbye


13 posted on 12/30/2009 7:52:49 AM PST by dumpthelibs (dumpthelibs)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

“It also really seems wrong that custody is being pulled from the parent as punishment—in this case, contempt of court. What ever happened to a fine or a weekend in jail?”

I don’t think this sort of enforcement would be as zealous if the parent denied visitation was a man. I certainly cannot envision a judge taking custody from the mother and transferring the child to the father on those grounds, can you?

A friend of mine was denied visitation with his daughter and the mother never suffered any penalty for it. He attempted to pressure her by withholding child support and was promptly arrested.

He hasn’t seen his daughter since she was a toddler who is now an adult.


14 posted on 12/30/2009 7:55:30 AM PST by walford (http://the-big-pic.org)
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To: Chickensoup
Did she adopt the baby? If she did she is a parent... and the courts cannot adjure her rights.

She did not, and Virginia State Law specifically directs the courts to ignore any civil-union/marriage in making adjudications.

15 posted on 12/30/2009 7:58:39 AM PST by nina0113
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To: walford
How come the full faith and credit never applies to state handgun licenses?

The insane are running the country.

16 posted on 12/30/2009 7:59:56 AM PST by hoosierham (Waddaya mean Freedom isn't free ?;will you take a credit card?)
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Read my tagline....’nuf said.


17 posted on 12/30/2009 8:02:53 AM PST by bjorn14 (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil. Isaiah 5:20)
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Read my tagline....’nuf said.


18 posted on 12/30/2009 8:03:02 AM PST by bjorn14 (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil. Isaiah 5:20)
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To: walford
First of all, this was a "civil union", not a marriage. And there have been many cases in many states where an adult who was not biologically related to a child and had never been married or civil unioned to a biological parent of the child, has been granted visitation rights. That's all that would have happened here, if the biological parent hadn't refused to comply with the court's visitation order. The legal basis for these decisions is the best interest of the child, without passing judgement on the adults' religious, political, or other beliefs.

In this case, the biological mother chose to have a child and begin raising the child in a home where the child was taught to regard the partner as a parent. Then the biological mother changed her mind, decided her child's other parent was evil and kicked her out of the child's life. The courts would have reached the same decision if the biological mother had remained a lesbian and the partner became an evengelical Christian. Primary custody would have been awarded to the biological mother, with visitation rights awarded to her ex-partner. And if the still-lesbian biological mother had then refused to allow the girl to visit the now-evangelical Christian ex-partner in defiance of the court order, primary custody would have been switched.

Note that BOTH the Vermont and Virginia supreme courts decided in favor of this change of primary custody switch, even though the Virginia constitution has a provision that bans enforcement of rights arising from same-sex civil unions or marriages. The Virginia decision was based on recognition of the Vermont court's visitation order, and would have been the same for any unmarried/ununioned heterosexual couple in the same situation. This is proper recognition for the laws of other states. If one state's laws explicitly state that grandparents are not entitled to visitation rights by virtue of being grandparents, that state should (and would) still enforce a visitation order from another state whose laws specify that grandparents are entitled to visitation rights.

Homosexual marriage also opens the door to the government sanctioning of just about any other mix-and-match combination. There are polyamorous groupings [those with 3 or more "partners"] out there who would have every reason to justify having their relationships sanctioned by the government also. These would then be protected by the Courts and eligible for taxpayer support as well.

Freedom means not having government dictating that people have different legal rights based on the choices they make in arranging their personal lives. Government shouldn't be recognizing ANY marriages, unions, etc, beyond having courts enforce private contracts that free citizens have voluntarily entered into with each other, just as is done for business-type contracts.

19 posted on 12/30/2009 8:11:54 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: shankbear

They need to drag out the politicians who allowed this crap and hang THEM.


20 posted on 12/30/2009 8:39:12 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (The Second Amendment. Don't MAKE me use it.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
"Freedom means not having government dictating that people have different legal rights based on the choices they make in arranging their personal lives. Government shouldn't be recognizing ANY marriages, unions, etc, beyond having courts enforce private contracts that free citizens have voluntarily entered into with each other, just as is done for business-type contracts."

You know, that perfectly sums up exactly what I feel about the matter.

Although I am married (I got married back in 1985 and am still married) it did seem a bit strange to me to have to go through the process of getting a marriage "license" and then go through the church ceremony of getting married. I figured that the marriage should be done in a church and the government should record and enforce the legal contract between the two parties, but just call it a contract between two persons.

Apparently back a long time ago people thought it was a good idea for the government to issue marriage licenses and approve marriages. I am sure that it seemed like a good idea at the time, collecting a fee for the marriage license and joining the two persons together for legal purposes in one easy step.

But as with all laws when society changes (or when a vocal and determined and activist minority gets into power) the law gets stretched and winds up being used in ways that it was not originally intended.

So not only do actions have consequences, laws have consequences down the road too.

21 posted on 12/30/2009 8:39:27 AM PST by Screaming_Gerbil (Luke 22:36 "Then said he unto them...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.")
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To: walford

THis is a complex case, one that isn’t suited to the sound-bite treatment it is given in our forums.

Obviously, we know that the homosexual lifestyle is harmful, so the child would be best placed with her mother, and not forced to see the other woman and her lesbian partner.

However, society has not deemed that the homosexual lifestyle is harmful to the child, so no judge is going to deny access to the homosexual partner based on “interest of the child”, any more than they would cut off a man’s visitation rights if the man left his wife because he announced he was homosexual.

And of course, the other woman has no biological attachment to the child, while the mother in Virginia does. But they were in a legal civil partnership when they decided to have the child, and the other woman adopted the child. Suppose it was reversed, would we argue that the virginia mother could be denied access to the child she had adopted, simply because the other woman gave birth?

Well, of course, because we know that biological attachment is critically important (sometimes I get yelled at for saying that, by freepers who had to adopt children, but it’s just a fact of life, that is borne out when adopted children go out of their way to discover who their biological parents are). But again, the law does not give absolute deference to biological imperative, especially when legal adoption has taken place, as in this case.

So really, it comes down to this: The couple’s “divorce” from their civil union included giving the natural mother custody, with full visitation rights to the other woman.

But the natural mother, because she realised that her homosexuality was wrong, chose to disobey the legal order for visitation. And how could she not? She couldn’t get the court to change the visitation rules, since the court would never rule to ignore a legal adoption, or to find that homosexuality was something the child had to be protected from.

But the courts have their hands tied. The other mother has legal visitation rights, which the birth mother who has custody has “illegally” cut off. So the court is switching custody, on the promise of the Vt. woman that she will maintain the same visitation rules as were previously in force.

Which could mean that in the end, the child spends exactly the same amount of time with each mother now as she was supposed to before.

Of course, this is all a travesty, but it was caused by the birth mother when she entered into a homosexual union, and decided to have a child with the other woman.

Under the “biological imperative”, we would ignore the other woman, but then the sperm donor would have equal claim to the child, something that people who use sperm donors would be opposed to.

Virginia has strict rules — we don’t support civil unions, we don’t allow homosexual adoptions. But we do have to abide by the laws of other states when citizens freely enter into contracts. We certainly don’t want other states to abrogate custody orders from our courts.


22 posted on 12/30/2009 8:40:01 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: walford

I feel sorry for the Child.

The two Dykes made their own beds, now thay have to sleep in them.


23 posted on 12/30/2009 8:40:46 AM PST by Venturer
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To: nina0113
She did not, and Virginia State Law specifically directs the courts to ignore any civil-union/marriage in making adjudications.

Yes, the other woman is the legal guardian of the child, with a legally enforceable adoption, fully separate from the issue of the legal civil union (which Virginia does not recognise).

The legal adoption lead to the other woman being granted court-ordered visitation, and the refusal of the birth mother to honor that court order that lead to this new ruling.

Virginia courts are not prone to agreeing to illegal acts.

24 posted on 12/30/2009 8:45:12 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: walford

Children never get to “consent” to being raised in an alternative sexual relationship household.

This is judicial activism at its worst.

Was the non-birth woman paying child support?


25 posted on 12/30/2009 8:48:32 AM PST by a fool in paradise (Beware the Green Menace, the socialists warning you of global warming under your bed are hysteric.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker
Government shouldn't be recognizing ANY marriages, unions, etc, beyond having courts enforce private contracts that free citizens have voluntarily entered into with each other, just as is done for business-type contracts.

Government has a compelling interest in encouraging heterosexual marriage commitments, as this aids procreation and therefore the propetuation of the citizenry, as well as providing a stable societal unit to raise the next generation, free from burdens on other citizens.

Homosexual unions do not provide this societal benefit, and should therefore not be encouraged. And since biological bonding is the best way to ensure a stable family unit and nurture for the next generation, there is no need to encourage other forms of union where you cannot have biological parents raising the children.

26 posted on 12/30/2009 8:49:38 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: CharlesWayneCT

Where do you have a link showing any adoption? I’ve provided several on various threads showing there was NOT.


27 posted on 12/30/2009 8:49:44 AM PST by nina0113
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To: walford
I certainly cannot envision a judge taking custody from the mother and transferring the child to the father on those grounds, can you?

Certainly not to a non-birth male parent.

28 posted on 12/30/2009 8:51:09 AM PST by a fool in paradise (Beware the Green Menace, the socialists warning you of global warming under your bed are hysteric.)
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To: CharlesWayneCT

Out of her own mouth:

***************
Until that point, Miller says, she begged Jenkins to file adoption papers, because she didn’t want Isabella to end up as a ward of the state if something happened to her. “I was told we didn’t need to because we had the civil union,” says Jenkins. “God, if I had only known.”

http://www.newsweek.com/id/172554/page/1

****************

Miller has a different interpretation, of course, but the fact is there WAS no adoption. It’s also interesting that the two met in AA. I wonder which (if either) of them is still sober?


29 posted on 12/30/2009 9:02:54 AM PST by nina0113
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To: walford

The family court system has been a complete joke for forty years (remember the 60’s?). The “interests of the children” has been their last priority. The transfer of wealth has been their first.

In slack-jawed lockstep with the progressive (oxymoron) movement, the family court system has rewarded every fringe element of society at the expense of normalcy and common sense.

Now, in a reach too far, they have perhaps set the precedent for their own undoing. The linchpin of their approach to arbitration was that the mothers rights were superior to any other. In awarding the child to a third party for no justifiable reason (child welfare, substance abuse, neglect, etc) the court has broken its only “sacred” bond.

I hope this breaks the family court or forces them to start over. Nothing is better than the crap sandwich they’ve been serving.


30 posted on 12/30/2009 9:06:37 AM PST by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: nina0113

I’m sorry, this seems to be a semantic argument, but you are correct that there is no explicit adoption.

In Vermont, a child born through artificial insemination to a couple in a civil union is explicitly recognized as being adopted by the non-birth parent. So there was no more need for an “adoption” by the non-birth mother than there would be for a husband and wife if you later found out that the child was not the husband’s.

Now, Virginia does not recognize the parental rights of a non-birth parent from a civil union. However, Virginia does recognize the court custody decisions of other states, and since the couple lived in Vermont when the child was born, the woman was out of luck when she tried to use the Virginia law to circumvent Vermont law.

Not that this was a cut-and-dry case, and I would have been pleased if the Virginia courts had ruled differently, but the ruling is understandable and legally defensible.


31 posted on 12/30/2009 9:07:27 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: GovernmentShrinker

Freedom is a gift of G-d. If you twist the law to honor that which G-d outlaws, you lose freedom and pervert the law. That has happened here.


32 posted on 12/30/2009 9:11:30 AM PST by bvw
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To: Chickensoup

Did she adopt the baby? ...... It is my understanding that she did not... and that the birth mother was allowing visitation until the little girl was forced to bathe with the other mother and came home with screaming nightmares and betwetting (at 7).

I would disappear as well.


33 posted on 12/30/2009 9:15:38 AM PST by The Californian (The door to the room of success swings on the hinges of opposition. Bob Jones, Sr.)
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To: walford

The Perverts Run The Asylum...
BUMP!!!


34 posted on 12/30/2009 9:17:27 AM PST by VOA
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To: nina0113
The child was born in Virginia, but at 4 months old they moved to Vermont specifically to get the legal protections of civil union in that state. "That August, when Isabella was 4 months old, the Miller-Jenkinses moved to Vermont. They wanted to live in a state that recognized their commitment to each other and offered them legal protections as a family, Janet said."

So later, the argument was whether Virginia law or Vermont law should apply. Virginia courts eventually ruled that Vermont won out. After all, they went to vermont to get their civil union, and they moved to vermont to get legal protections.

It's hard to sort out the story listening to the two women, because they tell very different stories, and each has a tilt that helps them in their legal arguments. So Miller, who wanted Virginia to rule that Jenkins had no legal rights to the child, would obviously want to emphasize the pleading for adoption, because Miller wanted Virginia to rule that there was no adoption and that Vermont's parental rules regarding civil unions were inapplicable.

But the courts ruled otherwise.

35 posted on 12/30/2009 9:17:35 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: walford

Another Vermont judge did what? Wait till BOR get’s a hold of this.


36 posted on 12/30/2009 9:26:45 AM PST by BradtotheBone (Moderate Democrat - A politician whose voting record leans left and whose vote can be bought.)
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To: walford
Vt. Judge: Birth Mom Must Give Child to Ex-Partner

Vt. Judge: Birth Mom Must Give Child to Ex-Partner

37 posted on 12/30/2009 9:40:38 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Good news. HC bill will not cover illegal aliens. Bad news. 20-35 million will become citizens.)
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To: Chickensoup

Whether you or I like it or not, there was a civil ceremony. In cases like this where there are a man and a woman involved, the husband does not have to adopt to be recognized as the parent of the child, even if the mother delivers under the precise conditions Miller did in this situation.

Adoption just doesn’t apply here. The non-custodial parent is a legal parent. And if they exercised their rights and were granted visitation, it’s not out of the ordinary, other than that this is two female parents we’re talking about here.

This is only one of the problems a homosexual marriage can lead to. When these two women joined together in that civil ceremony, they did so against the vast majority of the public’s better judgment. “They deserved equal treatment.” That was their mindset. Well, now they have that equal treatment to fall back on.

I’m actually sorry the child is exposed to this. I am sorry it was brought into such a relationship in the first place. Miller’s judgment has been woefully inadequate prior to ‘getting religion.’ That is indeed unfortunate.

Perhaps now she understands why the public was right all along. Sadly that knowledge isn’t going to spare the child.

At one point the child being in the midst of a homosexual family was just peachy for Miller. Now she doesn’t want that for the child. Admirable, just years too late.

This is an old saying that has a familiar punch line at the end. In this case, only the first half fits.

Oh what a tangled web we weave.


38 posted on 12/30/2009 9:51:29 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Good news. HC bill will not cover illegal aliens. Bad news. 20-35 million will become citizens.)
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To: walford
I don’t think this sort of enforcement would be as zealous if the parent denied visitation was a man.

I totally believe that. I've seen ex-wives do all kinds of things to manipulate these situations. The most common tactic is screw up dad's visitation plans, and it's usually timed to maximize cost, hassle, and time wasted. It's also really common to tell kids all kinds of horrible things about the other spouse to turn them against the other spouse. It's really rotten and petty to use kids as pawns like this.

39 posted on 12/30/2009 10:08:52 AM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Liberalism is a social disease.)
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To: CharlesWayneCT

Just FYI: Jenkins, the other woman (the lesbian) never adopted Isabella (the girl).


40 posted on 12/30/2009 10:51:54 AM PST by scripter ("You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." - C.S. Lewis)
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To: a fool in paradise
Was the non-birth woman paying child support?

Probably the best single sentence on this thread.

41 posted on 12/30/2009 11:37:40 AM PST by NurdlyPeon (Sarah Palin: Americas last, best hope for survival.)
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To: Screaming_Gerbil

Our marriage laws developed in a society in which many people were completely illiterate, and many more were barely literate. It was a minority of citizens who were equipped to negotiate a written contract and really know what was in it. Contracts of all kinds especially land purchases) and marriage licenses too, were quite often “signed” with an X, next to which someone else (a witness or occasionally an attorney, had written “John Doe, his mark”. Illiteracy to the degree of not being able to write one’s own name is obviously a huge obstacle to negotiating a contract and knowing what you were signing. Women were also regarded as chattel by the law — they were owned by their fathers until marriage tranferred ownership to their husbands.

While that state of affairs explains the utility of government-defined marriage, it’s worth noting that at that time, most if not all states fully recognized common law marriage, i.e. if a man and woman lived as husband and wife, and presented themselves to others as husband and wife, then they were just as married in the eyes of the law as a couple who had an actual marriage license and/or had been married by a member of the clergy.


42 posted on 12/30/2009 3:10:11 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

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