Vermont Gives Marital Protections to Lesbian and Gay Couples

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Lambda welcomes passage of civil unions measure as 'giant step toward equality'
April 25, 2000

(NEW YORK, April 25, 2000) —Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund commended the Vermont legislature Tuesday for making Vermont the first state in the nation to extend to lesbians and gay men most of the protections and rights traditionally associated with marriage.

“The possibilities for our families and, indeed, the shape of our movement are forever changed,” said Lambda Legal Director Beatrice Dohrn. “Vermonters are to be commended for their thoughtful and fairminded deliberations. They are the first, but certainly not the last, to take this giant step toward equality.”

Added Dohrn, “Vermont has sent a signal to the entire nation that it is no longer tolerable to deny lesbian and gay couples the respect other couples take for granted. When other states follow suit, they will certainly be grateful to Vermonters for their leadership. Today is a day of celebration for lesbians and gay men in Vermont, and throughout this country. Of course we continue to still look forward to the day when we win the freedom to participate fully in marriage itself.”

Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund served as a friend of the court to the Vermont Supreme Court that last December ordered the state legislature to extend all the rights and benefits of marriage to same-sex couples. Long at the forefront of the national campaign to win the freedom to marry, Lambda litigated the landmark case in Hawaii that first brought the discussion of marriage rights for same-sex couples to the nation’s attention.

Lambda is the nation’s oldest and largest gay legal organization, headquartered in New York with regional offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Chicago.

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CONTACT: Peg Byron 212-809-8585 or 888-987-1984 (pager)
Beatrice Dohrn 212-809-8585 ext. 210


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