Vermont on Monday swore in its first openly-lesbian Supreme Court justice. Beth Robinson, who is 46, has worked to secure gay and lesbian rights for over a decade, winning the landmark 1999 case that made Vermont the first state to offer civil unions. Robinson also worked as the co-founder of the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force since 1995, helping to secure same-sex marriage equality in 2009, overriding the Governor’s veto.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin appointed Robinson in October. She is technically an interim justice awaiting Senate confirmation, which is not seen as a challenge. Robinson, a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago Law School, is now one of only six openly-gay state supreme court justices.
Beth Robinson married her long-time partner Kim Boyman in 2010, having lived as a couple under a Vermont civil union since 2001.
The Burlington Free Press adds:
Robinson, 46, of Ferrisburgh became the state’s first openly gay Supreme Court justice in a ceremony before a crowd of about 150 family, friends and former and future colleagues. She was heralded for her intelligence, energy and fairness.
“My pledge is to remember the people,” Robinson told the crowd, noting that she has a love for legal interpretation but came to understand that legal cases are primarily about people.