Civil Union Decision 10-Years Old

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It’s been a decade since the Vermont Supreme Court ruled in a groundbreaking case that led to the state’s civil unions law.

On Dec. 20, 1999, the court ruled in a case deciding whether gay and lesbian couples were entitled to the same legal rights and protections as married male and female couples.

Jeffrey Amestoy, then chief justice of the Vermont Supreme Court and now a fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, tells the Burlington Free Press it was a very significant case.

Amestoy says a decision could not be rushed because it had generated a mountain of testimony.

A decade later, Vermont and a handful of other states have laws recognizing same-sex marriage.

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