Vermont legalizes same-sex marriage

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

State capitol in Montpelier.

Vermont is now the fourth state in the United States where same-sex marriage is legal.

Vermont lawmakers overrode Governor Jim Douglas' veto on Tuesday to permit gays and lesbians in the state to marry. The state Senate voted 23–5 in favor of overriding the Governor's veto and the House followed up with a 100–49 vote. Two Senators were not in attendance and House Representative Sonny Audette did not vote. Vermont's constitution requires the votes of at least two-thirds of the House and Senate to override a veto.

Jim Douglas, the 80th Governor of Vermont.

Governor Douglas spoke out about his position on the bill in front of the state Senate last month saying, "I've made my position quite clear that I believe marriage is and ought to remain the union of a man and a woman, that our civil unions law affords equality of opportunities and rights under state law and that that should suffice." Governor Douglas vetoed the bill last night when it arrived at his office.

Today's decision came nine years after the state was the first in the country to adopt a civil unions law.


  Learn more about Same-sex marriage in Vermont on Wikipedia.