By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com November 01 2010 1:25 PM ET
The Vermont supreme court has unanimously granted custody to a lesbian who has been battling to become the guardian of the young girl she and her former partner raised together.
The ruling is in favor of Vermont resident Janet Jenkins, affirming a 2009 court order giving her sole physical and legal custody of Isabella Miller-Jenkins. Lisa Miller, Jenkins's former partner, is still missing with their 8-year-old daughter, according to Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, which argued on Jenkins's behalf before the supreme court.
Vermont "has determined that same-sex couples have the same rights and responsibilities as opposite-sex couples — thus, the sexual orientation of the parents is irrelevant in a custody determination," the court wrote Monday. "We affirm the family court's finding that Lisa had no justification for denying visitation to Janet."
The court also added that because Miller fled with Isabella to "apparently defeat a court order," her behavior is destructive to the 8-year-old's best interests.