Mennonite Minister Found Guilty in Lisa Miller Abduction Case

Kenneth Miller of Stuarts Draft, Virginia, was found guilty of aiding Lisa Miller and the abduction of her child, Isabella Miller-Jenkins, now 10, during a highly-publicized Vermont custody battle in order to evade court orders to grant Janet Jenkins, her former partner, visitation rights, the Courant reports:

MillerThe jury deliberated only a few hours before finding Kenneth Miller guilty. He faces the possibility of three years in prison. No sentencing date was set. Miller showed no reaction as the verdict was announced. More than 80 other Mennonites filled the Vermont courtroom.

Lisa Miller took the girl to Central America after denouncing homosexuality and losing a series of family court battles in Vermont with her former partner, Janet Jenkins. Jenkins and Miller were joined in a civil union in Vermont in 2000. After in vitro fertilization, Miller gave birth to Isabella two years later.

Miller filed to dissolve the union in 2003. She got custody of Isabella, but a Vermont court gave Jenkins visitation rights. She increasingly embraced conservative Christian ideals and renounced homosexuality.

Kenneth Miller, no relation to Lisa, aided her in an act of Christian solidarity with her decision to reject homosexuality.

Think Progress notes the reaction from the hateful right:

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association has fervently defended Lisa Miller, claiming that there needs to be an “Underground Railroad” to protect children by kidnapping them away from same-sex couples. When courts honor the parental rights of same-sex couples, as they did in Jenkins’ case, Fischer calls this “judicial kidnapping,” suggesting that those opposed to same-sex adoption can and should function outside the law. Upon Kenneth Miller’s guilty ruling yesterday, Fischer tweeted that he was a “Conductor of Underground Railroad” who was protecting a child from an “abusive lesbian environment” and suggested that he too should flee the country rather than face his judicial consequences.


  1. says

    The right verdict. Religious zealots need to be held accountable when they use their beliefs as an excuse to violate the law. And next they should go after Liberty Counsel, who clearly had a hand in this kidnapping. Bryan Fischer may be nuts, but this anti-gay law firm and their religious helpers actually carried out his fantasy: taking away children from gay parents.

    This case was also an important test of VT (pre-marriage) CUs: they are a legal union and they can’t be ignored just cause you don’t like gay folk. No happy ending in this case, but the case is good news for what marriage is supposed to mean.

  2. ratbastard says

    And? This kind of case is quite common among ‘straight’ couples, in fact most missing children involve custody disputes. Of course it’s kidnapping,basically, and deserving of jail time. In fact actually ‘kidnapping’ and holding someone against their will is a VERY serious crime,on the same level as homicide.

  3. antb says

    Perhaps Mr. Fischer and other AFA members who are considering a life of criminal mischief should consider fleeing the country instead. Now THAT would be a win-win ….

  4. TomTallis says

    I suggest that the whole vile lot of the Liberty Counsel cabal flee the country. It would clear up the stink eminating from Lynchburg and be good for the health of the entire nation.

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