Shumlin Signs “Respectful Language” Bill

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Governor Peter Shumlin has signed a bill aimed at eradicating from state laws any language considered offensive to people with disabilities.

The measure creates a working group to identify words that shouldn’t be used in Vermont statutes and regulations. The group will suggest words that reflect positively on people with disabilities.

The state’s marriage statutes, for example, say a marriage can be annulled if either spouse is determined to be a "lunatic" or an "idiot."

The group also will report to lawmakers by November 1st on specific statutes related to respectful language that should be addressed by lawmakers.

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