January 01, 2010

A Look At How Vermont Advanced the Cause of Same-Sex Marriage Nationwide

From the Bennington (VT) Banner:

The biggest news story of the decade in Vermont began before the decade did. And its impact was felt far beyond the Green Mountains.

On Dec. 20, 1999, the state Supreme Court -- responding to a challenge to Vermont's marriage laws -- ruled that same-sex couples should be entitled to the same "benefits and protections" afforded to married couples. Within months, Gov. Howard Dean signed a first-in-the-nation law making available "civil unions" to gay couples.

Political careers were cut short over some lawmakers' votes on the issue. "Take Back Vermont" signs went up on barn sides and fence posts, opposing the change. The Rutland Herald won a Pulitzer Prize -- the first ever awarded to a Vermont newspaper -- for editorials supporting civil unions.

Vermont's groundbreaking move also led to gay rights advances in other states.
Click here to read the rest of the story.

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