A Halfway Win For Gay Couples

Four years ago, a group of lesbian and gay Vermonters got together in the basement of an Episcopal church to plot the redefinition of marriage. Among them were a nurse, a few lawyers and a pair of Christmas-tree farmers. They thought the state should treat their relationships no differently from those of heterosexuals, and they eventually brought a lawsuit.

Last week the Vermont Supreme Court agreed with them, sort of. The court ruled, as no appellate court ever had, that gay couples have a right to the same benefits as heterosexual couples--with one monumentally symbolic exception. Same-sex couples still cannot obtain...

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