Monday, September 14, 2009

Ben, Jerry, and Equality in Vermont

Well, it's been nearly two weeks now that marriage equality has existed in Vermont...and what better way to celebrate than a little ice cream?! In honnor of Vermont's newfound legalization of same-sex marriage, Ben and Jerry's has temporarily renamed its "Chubby Hubby" flavor to "Hubby Hubby."

Walt Freese, Ben and Jerry's CEO, said in a statement, "The legalization of marriage for gay and lesbian couples in Vermont is certainly a step in the right direction and something worth celebrating with peace, love and plenty of ice cream."

Vermont became the first state to give civil recognition to gay and lesbian couples with the passage of legislation that established civil unions in the state in 2000. At the time, this law granted same-sex partners the most comprehensive system of domestic partner benefits in the nation, qualifying them for the some 300 rights and benefits available to married couples in the state.

Vermont is now one of four states where same sex marriage licenses are being granted. The other states are Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa. Legislation granting same sex marriage rights has also passed in Maine and New Hampshire. Maine's legislation is facing challenges and New Hampshire's will go into effect in January. Similar legislation is currently under consideration in New York.

Photo credit: D. Sharon Pruitt, courtesy of Sherbet Photography

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