The United States Supreme Court has rejected a request for a stay of sentence in the case of a Christian businessman convicted of “international parental kidnapping” for helping a mother and her child escape an unrelated lesbian “mother” imposed on the child by a Vermont court.

61-year-old Philip Zodhiates is the president of the conservative direct mail fundraising company Response Unlimited. He is also the adoptive father of six children from Central America.

Zodhiates began serving a three-year federal prison sentence last month after being prosecuted by the Obama administration for driving Lisa Miller and her daughter Isabella to the Canadian border in 2009. A Christian and former lesbian, Miller was fleeing the United States to defy court-imposed visitations with Janet Jenkins, her ex-partner a judge deemed the girl’s second “mother” despite having no biological relation.

Miller and Isabella successfully entered Canada and flew to Nicaragua, with their current whereabouts unknown, but Zodhiates was arrested and eventually convicted for assisting them. An appeals court refused to consider an appeal this October, so his attorneys asked the United States Supreme Court to step in and stay his sentence while reviewing his conviction.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg rejected the request for a stay, but Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s first judicial nominee, placed it on the calendar to be voted on in private conference on January 4.

LifeSiteNews gathered more than 12,000 signatures urging the court to grant the request last week, with a petition arguing that “Mr. Zodhiates must be allowed to make an application to appeal his case to the Supreme Court – so as to be able to exhaust all legal remedies at his disposal,” and that “doing so while in prison is an undue burden.”

“The application for stay addressed to Justice Gorsuch and referred to the Court is denied,” the court said simply in a list of orders released on Monday. It did not identify how the justices voted or elaborate on their reasoning.

Zodhiates can be reached by mail at the following address:

Philip Zodhiates 18649-084
FCI Ashland
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 6001
Ashland, KY  41105

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