A lesbian couple
who entered into the nation's first same-sex civil union
are splitting up amid allegations of violent behavior.
Carolyn Conrad, 35, asked a Vermont court in
October to end her relationship with Kathleen
Peterson, 46. Conrad also obtained a restraining order
Wednesday against her partner, saying Peterson punched
a hole in the wall during an argument and threatened to harm
a friend. "All I want to say is that the civil union
was a big source of pride for me, and now it's not,"
The two had been together for five years when
they were legally joined in Brattleboro minutes after
Vermont's civil union law took effect on July 1, 2000.
Two years ago the couple were offering relationship advice
on a gay rights Web site. By the end of 2004, a total
of 7,549 same-sex couples had entered into civil
unions in Vermont, the first state to offer gay
couples nearly all the rights and privileges of marriage.
There have been 78 dissolutions.
Bari Shamas, a member of the Vermont Freedom to
Marry Task Force, said gay relationships are prone to
the same difficulties as heterosexual marriages.
"There's no proof that our relationships are any better
than heterosexual relationships," Shamas said. (AP)