CORRECTION: Federal Appeals Court Upholds Conviction Of Pastor In Kidnapping Of Daughter Of Lesbian Mother


EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday December 26, 2015

After running this article on December 20, EDGE was approached by Liberty Counsel who pointed out a factual inaccuracy we printed regarding their organization's affiliation with Liberty University, as well as an ambiguity regarding Mr. Staver that they deem defamatory.

Upon threat of legal action, they have demanded we publicly retract and correct the statements in this article and issue a public apology to Mr. Staver and Liberty Counsel by December 28.

Below are corrections to any factual errors contained within this article. Mr. Staver's role in the lawsuit has also been clarified. We apologize to you, our readers for any misinformation.

Liberty Counsel is a tax-exempt legal organization that specializes in evangelical Christian litigation, founded in 1989 by Mat Staver, who also served as Liberty University's law school dean from 2006-2014. Although the Southern Poverty Law Center (who list Liberty Counsel as an anti-LGBT hate group) has stated that the two organizations have a "close affiliation," Liberty University is not the parent organization of the Liberty Counsel as erroneously stated in this article. Although Jenkins' 2012 lawsuit did involve Liberty School of Law and Liberty Counsel, both were dismissed from it in 2013 for lack of standing. Although EDGE at no point alleged that Staver was a "defendant" in the Jenkins' lawsuit, the lawsuit has "mentioned" and made some "references" about Staver. The lawsuit against Mr. Staver and the aforementioned organizations is not ongoing. EDGE regrets the error, ambiguities and any confusion this may have caused. The news source cited in this article is Reuters.

A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of a Mennonite minister accused of helping a woman flee to Nicaragua with her daughter to evade court orders giving her former lesbian partner visitation rights.

New York's 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of Kenneth Miller, according to Reuters. He was found guilty in 2012 by a federal jury in Burlington, Vermont for aiding in international parental kidnapping and subsequently sentenced to 27 months in prison.

The case drew widespread attention as gay rights and evangelical Christian groups squared off in the legal battle over the daughter. On the same day in 2012 that Miller was found guilty of abetting the kidnapping of her daughter to Nicaragua, lesbian mom Janet Jenkins filed a RICO lawsuit against many of the parties suspected of conspiring in the crime, including Liberty University, the parent of the vile anti-gay hate group Liberty Counsel, whose president Mat Staver is specifically named in the suit. In July 2015 the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court's ruling that Liberty University's liability insurance policy covers such lawsuits.

Prosecutors said Miller was behind Lisa Miller's flight to Canada and Nicaragua in 2009 with her daughter, doing it out of Christian solidarity with her decision to reject homosexuality and her former partner. The two Millers are not related.

Reuters also notes that, U.S. Circuit Judge Susan Carney, writing for a three-judge panel, said it was Lisa Miller's removal of her child from the United States that allowed that allowed for the jurisdiction.

"It was not, for example, simply violating a state court custody order and crossing a state line: Its international nature endowed it with a different character and consequences," Carney wrote.

A lawyer for Miller did not respond to a request for comment.