BURLINGTON, Vt. (CBSDC/AP) – An official for the American Family Association is calling for an “underground railroad” to save children of same-sex marriages.
Bryan Fischer, the director of issue analysis for the AFA, said on Twitter and his radio show that kids need to be protected from gay parents.
“We are going to need this kind of underground railroad to protect parents and the right of parents to raise their own children,” Fischer said on his “Focal Point” radio program.
His comments stem from a case involving Lisa Miller, who left the U.S. with her then 7-year-old daughter three days before a court-ordered visitation with Janet Jenkins, her former partner who lives in Fair Haven, Vt. They said a Vermont judge made it clear in August 2009 that he would transfer custody of Isabella to Jenkins if Lisa Miller – who is now heterosexual — continued to disobey the court’s visitation orders.
“There is an underground railroad and we need one for women like Lisa Miller,” Fischer said. “We need an underground railroad to protect innocent children from same-sex households in these kind of circumstances. I’m not talking about kidnapping kids. I’m trying to protect the child from an activist judge.”
Lisa Miller and Jenkins entered a civil union in Vermont in 2000. Lisa Miller gave birth to her daughter in 2002. The couple later broke up, and Lisa Miller returned to her native Virginia.
A custody battle ensued in both Vermont and Virginia courts, with the supreme courts in both states eventually ruling the disagreement should be handled as a parental rights case under Vermont law. Two months after Lisa Miller left the United States, a Vermont judge transferred custody to Jenkins.
Prosecutors say that on Sept. 22, 2009, Kenneth Miller, a Mennonite pastor, drove Lisa Miller and her daughter from Virginia to Buffalo, N.Y., where the two crossed the Rainbow Bridge into Canada and flew to Central America to live with Mennonites in Nicaragua. The current whereabouts of the mother and her now-10-year-old daughter are unknown. The pastor is now on trial after being charged with helping them flee.
The trial is expected to continue into next week.
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