Made In Vermont: The Marriage Equality Revolution

lippert & amestoyVermont marriage equality trail blazers Rep. Bill Lippert & former Vermont Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeffrey Amestoy, outside WDEV after The Vermont Conversation, July 8, 2015.

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples could wed throughout the country. The avalanche that swept America actually began as a snowball  high up in the Green Mountains in the late 1990s. In 1999, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled in Baker v Vermont that the Vermont state legislature must craft a law granting all of the rights and privileges of marriage to same-sex couples. In 2000, Vermont legalized civil unions, the most sweeping grant of rights to same-sex couples up to that time. In 2009, the Vermont state legislature legalized same-sex marriage, making it the first legislature to do so. We talk about Vermont’s role in the marriage equality revolution with some of the pioneers of that effort:

Former Vermont Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeffrey Amestoy, author of the groundbreaking Baker v Vermont ruling.

State Representative Bill Lippert, who led the fight for passage of civil unions in 2000, and same sex marriage in 2009.

Susan Murray, attorney with Langrock Sperry & Wool, who represented the plaintiffs in Baker v Vermont, along with attorney Beth Robinson (now a Vermont Supreme Court judge).

Stacey Jolles & Nina Beck, a lesbian couple who were one of three same-sex couples who sued the State of Vermont in the late 1990s in Baker v Vermont, catalyzing the fight for marriage equality in Vermont, and in the U.S.

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