Beth RobinsonGov. 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.
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