A woman who pushed for Vermont's ground-breaking civil union and gay marriage laws has been sworn in as the first openly gay member of the state Supreme Court.
Beth Robinson took the oath Monday afternoon. Gov. Peter Shumlin said her story represented striking progress toward equality of gay and lesbian citizens.
The 46-year-old Robinson was one of the lawyers who represented three couples in a landmark 1999 state Supreme Court decision that prompted the Legislature in 2000 to make Vermont the first state to offer marriage-like rights and benefits to same-sex couples.
She later led Vermont Freedom to Marry, which pushed for and won passage in 2009 of the country's first gay-marriage law that wasn't directly prompted by a court decision.