An interstate child custody battle between two former lesbian partners has many concerned about the future of traditional marriage in the state of Virginia.
On Thursday, as the state's Supreme Court listened to arguments in the unique child custody dispute, pro-family supporters rallied outside the capitol courthouse to pray.
Supporters prayed for Lisa Miller, now a Virginia resident who has been fighting to prevent her former partner from having contact with her 5-year-old daughter Isabella.
Once Miller became a Christian, she renounced homosexuality and filed to dissolve their civil union. The two had legalized their lesbian relationship in Vermont in 2000, and Miller became pregnant shortly after with Isabella through artificial insemination.
But after the two separated, Miller moved back to Virginia with her daughter. She is now fighting to keep her.
An attorney for Miller argued that Virginia's law and constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and civil unions means the state does not need to enforce a child visitation order from the Vermont courts.
But a lawyer for Jenkins said a federal law dealing with parental kidnapping says custody and visitation orders in one state must be enforced in other states.
As each side presented their case, Concerned Women for America, a pro-family advocacy group, rallied Miller's supporters to pray for a positive outcome for traditional marriage.
"We're asking for people to join us in praying that the Virginia Supreme Court will protect little Isabella, her mother Lisa, and the bedrock institutions of legitimate marriage and family," CWA's Virginia State Director Janet Robey wrote in a press release.
"We're also asking for people to join in praying, as little Isabella has requested, 'that Janet Jenkins would ask Jesus into her heart,' and then with God's help, deliverance from homosexuality is possible," Robey added.
Now, Miller is working to raise her daughter according her Christian beliefs. Jenkins, who is neither an adoptive nor biological parent, filed papers to gain full custody of Isabella.
Since then, both Virginia and Vermont courts have ruled in the case.
In 2006, Virginia passed - with 57 percent of the vote - a constitutional amendment which was designed to protect families against just such an attack.
The amendment specifies that Virginia "shall not create or recognize. civil unions" or "same-sex marriages" from other states. Nor can it recognize rulings which stem from such "unions" -- like Vermont's custody ruling.
The Virginia Supreme Court now must decide whether it will respect the Federal Defense of Marriage Act and Virginia's own constitution, or allow Vermont to redefine marriage and family in the Commonwealth.
**Stay tuned to CBN News for more, as this story develops.
Sources: The Associated Press, Concerned Women for America, Christian News Wire