RUTLAND, Vermont, November 22, 2004 ( - Two women who entered into a same-sex civil union in Vermont in 2000 have been awarded joint custody of a daughter born to one woman through artificial insemination. The court ruled both women were the legal parents of the two-year-old girl.

A Virginia judge in August awarded Lisa Miller-Jenkins, the girl’s mother, sole custody, because the state does not recognize same-sex unions. Later, in September, a Vermont court disagreed, ruling Lisa Miller-Jenkins was in contempt of court, for denying her same-sex partner Janet Miller-Jenkins access to the two year-old toddler, Isabella.  On Wednesday, Rutland Family Court Judge William D. Cohen said, “parties to a civil union who use artificial insemination to conceive a child can be treated no differently than a husband and wife, who, unable to conceive a child biologically, choose to conceive a child by inseminating the wife with the sperm of an anonymous donor,” according to a Washington Post report.  Vermont civil union law grants full marital privileges to same-sex couples. The question arises as to how a Vermont judge will enforce a law that is not recognized by another state. “The fact is, in this case there may be no enforcement mechanism for the Vermont court because the Virginia courts, the legislature and the governor of Virginia don’t recognize the validity of the Vermont union,” law professor Michael Mello said. Mello is an author of a book on same-sex “marriage.”  See former coverage:  Virginia Judge Voids Vermont Same-Sex Union Same-Sex Parent’s Battle for Custody: another Example of Fiascos Waiting in the Wings   tv