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Vermont Freedom to Marry records

Identifier: C-144

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the paper and electronic records of Vermont Freedom to Marry (VFM), a non-profit volunteer organization that successfully led efforts to secure same-sex couples the freedom to marry in Vermont. Materials include social media, promotional materials, correspondence, among others.


  • Existence: 1995-2015

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish materials, contact: Special Collections & Archives Middlebury College Phone: (802) 443-2387 Email:

Biographical / Historical

Founded in 1995 by Middlebury lawyers Susan Murray and Beth Robinson, the Vermont Freedom to Marry organization fostered grass roots support for legal equality of same-sex relationships. In 1997, Murray, Robinson, and Mary Bonauto (an attorney with the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, or GLAD) sued the State of Vermont on behalf of three same-sex couples. In 1999, the Vermont Supreme Court issued a groundbreaking ruling in the case of Baker v. State granting same-sex couples the same benefits and privileges enjoyed by all married couples under Vermont law.

In 2000, Governor Howard Dean signed into law legislation allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions. Around 2007, VFM began to actively work for full marriage equality in Vermont. In 2009, The Marriage Equality Act was passed, legalizing same-sex marriage in Vermont.

VFM continued to promote marriage equality nationally and internationally until 2015, when the United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples. Shortly after, VFM dissolved its operations and donated their historical records to Middlebury College Special Collections and Archives.


27 Boxes (11 document boxes, 4 flat oversize boxes, 12 bankers boxes, 4 plastic bins 2 flat file drawers, 7 tubes and electronic files)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

B3 14 2.2

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives by the board of directors of Vermont Freedom to Marry, including but not limited to: Beth Robinson, Sheryl Rapee-Adams, Ernest McCloud, and Diane Fuchs.

Related Materials

See video recording of Baker v. State Oral Arguments at the Vermont State Supreme Court, November 18, 1998.

Digitized from VHS tape held at Vermont Law School. Original recording produced through the facilities of Middlebury Community Television by Joseph Watson.

Related Materials

See also the Vermont Freedom to Marry Web Archive via Archive-It at Middlebury College.

Related Materials

See also the collection of LGBTQ+ experiences at the Vermont Folklife Center, 88 Main Street, Middlebury, VT 05753. View a description of the collection here:

Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States