Monday, October 24, 2011

Beth Robinson Nominated to Vermont's Highest Court

Beth Robinson
Gov. Peter Shumlin announced that he has nominated Beth Robinson to the state Supreme Court of Vermont. Robinson, an out lesbian, has an extensive pro-equality background. Robinson was part of the legal team that represented three same-sex couples who were being denied the rights and benefits of marriage in the 1999 case of Baker v. Vermont. The Vermont Supreme Court ruled unanimously that denying same-sex couples the same benefits bestowed upon heterosexual couples was a violation of the state's constitution and ordered the legislature produce a remedy, leading to the legalization of same-sex civil unions in 2000. Robinson also, as the head of Vermont Freedom to Marry, played a pivotal role in passing legislation which legalized same-sex marriage in Vermont in 2009. And although some LGBT rights opponents such as Craig Benson--who cites as a concern the idea that small businesses will be sued by people who are "feeling transgendered that day" and may wish to use their bathrooms--have openly criticized the nomination, Robinson has found support from many other sources including the executive director of the Vermont Bar Association.

Special thanks to Sam Charron, Career Services Assistant Director and Public Interest Coordinator, for finding the article.

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