Shumlin Finalizes Divorce | Off Message

Shumlin Finalizes Divorce


After a four-year separation, Gov. Peter Shumlin and his wife, Deb, finalized their divorce last month in Windham County Family Court, the governor's office says.

"Even though divorce is a sad occasion, Deb and I will be forever blessed by many extraordinary years together and two remarkable daughters," the two said in a joint statement issued Wednesday.

"No parents could ask for a greater gift than Olivia and Becca, and Deb and I are grateful that we remain friends and will continue to share our strong family. We make this statement in light of my public office, but Deb and I will have no further comment on this private issue."

The news was first reported Tuesday by BuzzFeed's Ruby Cramer, who asked Shumlin about Vermont's leadership in fighting for marriage equality. As we noted in this week's Fair Game, Shumlin was in New York City to meet with reporters and donors in his capacity as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.

Here's what Cramer wrote:

Shumlin, who is divorced from his wife, joked that he initially couldn't understand why gay couples would even want to "hop onto that bridge," he said. "Heterosexuals are only getting it right half of the time, or less — myself included — so if you have half of the people getting across a bridge and the other half are falling into the river, you wouldn't lure more people onto it."

"That was sort of how I looked at it, and it wasn't until I heard the families — the moms and the moms, and the dads and the dads — talking about the real struggles they faced, and I thought, 'of course, of course,'" Shumlin said. "A real light bulb went off in my head, and I suspect that's going to happen to the rest of America over time."

Image courtesy of Terry Allen — it appeared in Andy Bromage's  March 2, 2011 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot column about Shumlin's marital status.