February 21, 2012
Twelve years ago, Vermont became the first state in the U.S. to legalize civil unions, granting all the basic rights and privileges of marriage to same-sex couples. It followed up in 2009 by becoming the first state to legalize gay marriage without being instructed to do so by a court. As a result, it became a destination spot for same-sex couples looking to tie the knot. Now, it could also become the first state to grant same-sex divorces, WORLD News Service reports. According to the bill H. 758, which passed the Vermont House Judiciary Committee with a 9-2 vote, "there are many same-sex couples who established a civil union or married in Vermont who are no longer together, yet they continue to be legally bound with no recourse other than moving to Vermont and becoming residents." Under current law, same-sex couples have to live in Vermont for at least six months before they can dissolve their same-sex unions, but H. 758 would expedite the process by allowing them to check a box on their application forms in the future.