A US judge has ordered the arrest of a woman who disappeared with her seven-year-old daughter after failing to hand her over to her other mother.

Vermont judge William Cohen is overseeing the custody battle between Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins. The pair had their daughter together in 2002 but Ms Miller became a born-again Christian and renounced homosexuality.

Yesterday, Judge Cohen found Ms Miller in contempt of court and issued a warrant for her arrest.

The child at the centre of the battle, seven-year-old Isabella, is considered a missing person.

The arrest warrant applies only in Vermont, where Ms Jenkins lives. A nationwide warrant can only be issued by the county district attorney.

Ms Miller and Isabella have not been seen for nearly two months and her lawyer says he does not know where she is.

The pair had a civil union ceremony in Vermont in 2000 and their daughter was born to Ms Miller two years later through artificial insemination.

But the couple split up in 2003 when Ms Miller became an evangelical Christian and renounced homosexuality. She then moved to Virginia.

Under the law, the couple are treated the same as a heterosexual married couple and in December, a Vermont judge found Ms Miller in contempt of court for denying Ms Jenkins access to Isabella.

Ms Miller went missing after a judge ordered her to hand over full custody to Ms Jenkins on January 1st.

She has become a figurehead for parts of the anti-gay Christian movement, who have claimed the Vermont ruling imposes a political agenda on Virginia.