Beth Robinson on Monday was sworn in as
a member of the Vermont Supreme Court, making her the court's first
openly gay justice.
Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin
administered the oath to Robinson before a crowd of about 150.
Robinson, 46, a long-time gay rights
advocate, led the legal team that successfully argued the
groundbreaking 1999 Vermont Supreme Court case that led to the
nation's first civil unions law. As the head of Vermont Freedom to
Marry, Robinson lobbied lawmakers to approve a gay marriage bill two
“It was a different world just 12
years ago,” Shumlin said. “We've come a long way, most of it
because of Beth's work.”
Robinson told the crowd that respect
for the law was her highest priority.
“To me, my pledge is to remember the
people because to me the only thing that is important is respecting
this abstraction that we call the law, is respecting the people who
both shape and give life to that abstraction and whose lives are, in
turn, shaped by the dictates that the law requires,” Robinson said.
Lenk becomes first openly gay Massachusetts high court justice.)