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Vermont was the first U.S. state to create a legal status for same-sex couples (civil unions). Same-sex couples who entered into civil unions during the first year of availability were asked to reflect on their relationship 3 years later. Written essays from 452 members of civil union couples were analyzed via thematic analysis. Most couple members considered the civil union to be highly significant, providing increased benefits and legitimacy. Some couple members did not consider the civil union to be as significant; they mentioned that civil unions were not the same as marriage, did not reflect the longevity of their relationship, or that their family of origin was still unsupportive. Some couple members got involved in political action to legalize their relationship and some had since gotten married in Canada, Massachusetts, or elsewhere. The implications of these findings for understanding minority stress, relationship investment, and future directions are discussed.