The infamous Bryan Fischer, Director of Issue Analysis for the American Family Association (an SPLC-certified hate group), sank to an appalling new low when he twice tweeted last night in favor of abducting the children of same-sex parents, saying there should be an “Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households.”
This is particularly galling to
the LGBT community every decent human being in Vermont, where a jury selection began yesterday in Burlington in the trial of Kenneth Miller, a Mennonite pastor who helped smuggle a seven-year-old girl to Central America in order to permanently separate her from one of her mothers.
If you’re unfamiliar with the details of this high-profile case, here’s the abridged version: In 2000, Virginians Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller were joined together under Vermont’s new groundbreaking civil union law. They decided to start a family, so Ms. Miller conceived through in vitro fertilization; Isabella Miller-Jenkins was born in April 2002. Shortly afterwards, the three women moved to Vermont so Isabella could be raised in a pro-equality state where her family would be recognized. Then, according to the New York Times:
Ms. Miller became pregnant again but had a miscarriage. She fell into depression, according to Ms. Jenkins; Ms. Miller later said that she was tortured by guilt. They separated in September 2003, when Isabella was 17 months old. Ms. Miller moved back to Virginia, a state that does not recognize same-sex unions or marriage.
Ms. Jenkins signed a promise to pay child support, and they agreed, she said, that she and her parents would remain in Isabella’s life.
“I wanted to preserve the close bond with Isabella,” Ms. Jenkins said, and she started visiting on weekends, making the 10-hour drive from Vermont. Their civil union was formally dissolved in 2004, and Family Court in Vermont granted custody to Ms. Miller with visiting rights for Ms. Jenkins.
This was not to be. Miller, who was sliding deep into extreme fundamentalist Christianity, proclaimed herself an “ex-gay.” She soon began disappearing when Jenkins was scheduled to arrive, blocking her rightful ability to visit Isabella. Miller then moved to Lynchburg to teach at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. Teaming up with the university law school, Miller sued under the Defense of Marriage Act, arguing that it meant Jenkins was not a rightful mother to Isabella. After a protracted legal battle that turned Miller into a hero for Christian conservatives across America, the Virginia Supreme Court sided with Jenkins, holding that Vermont law — which recognized her as an equal parent — had jurisdiction in the case.
A Vermont court set a new schedule of visits, but soon Miller resumed blocking Jenkins’ access to her daughter. In August of 2009, a Vermont judge threatened to transfer custody from Miller to Jenkins if she in any way impeded Jenkins’ regularly-scheduled visit the following month.
And that’s when Lisa and Isabella disappeared. According to prosecutors, Kenneth Miller (the Mennonite pastor) disguised the two women with Mennonite dresses and scarves, then arranged for them to be transported to Buffalo, New York, cross the border into Canada, and fly to Nicaragua, where they’ve been sheltered by Mennonite missionaries ever since.
If you think Bryan Fischer’s tweets extolling the virtues of kidnapping children from gay and lesbian parents coincided with the events unfolding here in Vermont by mere chance, think again: the link in his first “Underground Railroad” tweet (on the bottom in the image above) points to a Chicago Tribune article about the Miller-Jenkins saga.
Once again, Bryan Fischer proves why the American Family Association is a hate group. And as Jeremy Hooper astutely points out, the odds are that none of Fischer’s “pro-family” allies will condemn his abominable remarks. Their silence so far has been deafening.