Right-wing pundit Bryan Fischer has called for “an Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households.”
Fischer, suggested such a network in a tweet on Aug. 8, as a minister went on trial for helping a woman and child leave the United States. The woman had abducted her daughter from a lesbian relationship and faces a kidnapping charge.
Fischer, in a second tweet on Aug. 8, said, “Head of Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households goes on trial.”
The Human Rights Campaign responded to Fischer’s tweets in a blog post: “Fischer’s call for kidnapping children from same-sex partners is not only offensive, but a harmful mischaracterization of families that struggle daily to provide loving and safe home environments despite significant legal, financial and dignitary inequality.”
Fischer is the director of issues analysis for the American Family Association. He hosts the talk radio program “Focal Point” on American Family Radio and posts on the AFA-run blog Rightly Concerned.
The Southern Poverty Law Center characterizes the AFA, based in Tupelo, Miss., as a hate group.
The SPLC’s profile of Fischer includes quotes calling for recriminalization of homosexuality, blaming gays for the rise of Hitler and treating homosexuality like drug addiction.
He’s also advocated barring Muslims from coming to the United States and said Native Americans are mired in poverty because they refuse to accept Christianity and “the superior culture” of the newcomers to the New World.
In the minister’s trial taking place in Vermont, prosecutors allege that Kenneth Miller helped Lisa Miller and Isabella, then 7, flee the country to avoid sharing custody with Janet Jenkins of Fair Haven, Vt.
The defense says the 46-year-old Kenneth Miller from Stuarts Draft, Va., believed Lisa Miller, who is not related, had full custody of her daughter.
The trial began Aug. 8 with jury selection and continues today. If convicted, Kenneth Miller could be sentenced to a maximum prison term of three years.
Lisa Miller and Jenkins entered a civil union in Vermont in 2000. Lisa Miller gave birth to her daughter in 2002. The couple later broke up, and Lisa Miller returned to her native Virginia.
A custody battle ensued in both Vermont and Virginia courts, with the supreme courts in both states eventually ruling the disagreement should be handled as a parental rights case under Vermont law.
Two months after Lisa Miller left the United States, a Vermont judge transferred custody to Jenkins. The current whereabouts of Lisa Miller and her now 10-year-old daughter are not known.
On Aug. 9, prosecutors presented records for a cellphone of Virginia businessman Philip Zodhiates as evidence of Lisa Miller’s movements from Virginia to Buffalo, N.Y., on Sept. 21, 2009. They said calls were made between Zodhiates’ cellphone and Kenneth Miller’s cellphone during the trip to Buffalo.
According to previous testimony, a Mennonite pastor met Lisa Miller and her daughter in Canada and he drove them to the Toronto airport. The records then track Lisa Miller from Canada to Mexico City to Nicaragua, the prosecutors told jurors this week.
In court documents, prosecutors say that Lisa Miller and Isabella stayed for a time at a Nicaraguan beach house owned by Zodhiates and that Zodhiates sent the mother and child, who were not using their real names, a care package.