Vt. Weighs in on Lesbian Custody Fight

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that Vermont courts, and not those in Virginia, have exclusive jurisdiction over a case involving two women battling for custody of a child they had while they were in a lesbian relationship.

The unanimous ruling conflicts with a series of decisions in Virginia, where courts ruled the state's anti-gay marriage laws controlled the case.

Justice John Dooley wrote that Vermont civil union laws govern the women's 2003 separation and subsequent child custody disagreement because they were legally joined in a civil union there in 2000.

''This is a straightforward interstate jurisdictional dispute over custody, and the governing law fully supports the Vermont court's decision to exercise jurisdiction and refuse to follow the conflicting Virginia visitation order,'' Dooley wrote.

Details here from the AP via the New York Times. The Court's opinion is Miller-Jenkins v. Miller-Jenkins.