Civil Unions and Choice of Law: A Second Restatement Analysis of Miller-Jenkins v Miller-Jenkins


At the end of 2000 Lisa and Janet Miller-Jenkins left their home state of Virginia and traveled to Vermont to enter into a civil union. Their union ended a few years later. Although their separation resulted in a bitter legal battle in both the Virginia and Vermont court systems neither state addressed whether the initial union was valid. This paper analyzes the civil union using the Second Restatement’s choice of law principles. This paper concludes that although the courts have continued to haggle over whether full faith and credit must be given to conflicting visitation orders the choice of law analysis shows that Lisa and Janet never entered into a valid union.


Conflict of Laws | Family Law | Law and Gender | Sexuality and the Law

Date of this Version

January 2007