Family Law

Va. Supreme Court Requires Enforcement of Vt. Ruling in Same-Sex Dissolution


The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that state courts must enforce a child custody order issued by a Vermont court in the dissolution of a same-sex civil union.

The ruling requires recognition of the Vermont ruling, despite a Virginia law that says same-sex unions from other states are void there, the New York Times reports.

The court’s decision, however, was limited to the case before it because of the unusual stance of the appeal. The justices ruled that issues raised in the case were already resolved in an earlier appeal, which did not reach the Virginia Supreme Court because it was filed too late, the story says.

In the earlier appeal, an intermediate Virginia appeals court had ruled that a federal law, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, trumped the Virginia state law and required recognition of the Vermont decision.

The court ruled Friday in a custody dispute involving Isabella Miller-Jenkins, who is now 6 years old, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The child’s biological mother says she is a Christian and no longer accepts homosexuality.

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