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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.


Government Hits Married Lesbian Vermont Couple with Deportation Threat Over DOMA: VIDEO

Vermont

Yet another married binational gay couple is being hit with a deportation threat over DOMA, WCAX reports:

Frances Herbert and Takako Ueda met in college and have known each other for 30 years.  They have shared countless dinners, laughs and tears.  "I knew that she was the one," Ueda said.

After college Ueda returned to Japan and started a life with a husband and new home.  But after a visit from Herbert in 1999, her life changed again. 

"When I die. When I put my one leg into a coffin, I don't want to regret," she said.

Ueda divorced and moved to the United States. The couple have been living together ever since and married last year. But in December -- another change. They received a letter from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which denied Ueda's request to stay in the county, a right granted to heterosexual spouses of different nationalities. Sadness quickly turned to anger. The letter states that because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines a marriage as one man and one woman, Ueda had to go.

Watch their touching and infurating story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Government Hits Married Lesbian Vermont Couple with Deportation Threat Over DOMA: VIDEO" »


Hundreds of Students Stage Sit-In, Rally Around Bullied Bisexual Teen: VIDEO

Essex

Hundreds of students at Essex High School in Vermont came together in a show of support for Cole Peterson (pictured), a freshman who was beat up by two students because he is bisexual. staging an all-day sit-in last Friday, WCAX reports:

Students spent the day participating in workshops addressing bullying, creating signs to show their support and sharing their own stories of bullying and being bullied. "We've learned about terms for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, transvestites. We're putting out a strong message that they're just human beings and they're not something to be against," said Thomas Titus, an Essex freshmen.

Essex High School principal Rob Reardon says he'll handle concerns over classroom attendance next week. He stresses Friday's sit-in is just a start to tackling bullying behavior on and off school grounds. "The bottom line is, students have the capability and the power to stop this behavior -- because this is 24-7, through the summer, on weekends, as well as being here at school," Reardon said.

Watch a video report on the sit-in and interview with Peterson, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Hundreds of Students Stage Sit-In, Rally Around Bullied Bisexual Teen: VIDEO" »


Navy Lieutenant Marries Partner at Midnight, as 'DADT' is Repealed

Vtcouple

Navy Lt. Gary Ross married his partner of 11 years, Dan Swezy, in Duxbury, Vermont at the stroke of midnight last night, just as the military's ban on gays in the military was officially repealed, the AP reports:

Ross, 33, and Dan Swezy, a 49-year-old civilian, traveled from their home in Tucson, Ariz., so they could get married in Vermont, the first state to allow gays to enter into civil unions and one of six that have legalized same-sex marriage.

Ross wore his dress uniform for the double-ring ceremony that began at 11:45 p.m. Monday at Duxbury's Moose Meadow Lodge, a log cabin bed-and-breakfast perched on a hillside about 15 miles northwest of Montpelier. The lodge says it hosted the state's first gay wedding in 2009.

Justice of the Peace Greg Trulson proclaimed the marriage at exactly midnight.

"This is Gary's official coming out," Trulson said.

History being made in so many ways today. Ross plans on having a full career in the military.


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #957

THE SMITHS: A recently uncovered 1992 press video.

THE WILDLIFE OF BANFF, CANADA: The latest from Randall of Honey Badger fame.

JAM: Kim Kardashian tries to make a music video.

IRENE: More videos of the flooding in Vermont, the worst since 1927.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


Historic 141-Year-Old Covered Bridge Swept Away by Irene Flooding in Vermont: VIDEO

Bridge

One casualty of flooding from Hurricane Irene was the 141-year-old Bartonsville Covered Bridge, an historic landmark built by Sanford Granger, caught on camera as it was swept away by floodwaters. 

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via buzzfeed with a before and after.)

Continue reading "Historic 141-Year-Old Covered Bridge Swept Away by Irene Flooding in Vermont: VIDEO" »


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