I can’t tell you how excited I am to write this update to my previous article about Vermont. As predicted, Governor Jim Douglas recently vetoed the bill to legalize gay marriage. Today, the Vermont legislature overruled that veto, sending the message loud and clear that equality must prevail!
Overruling the veto with exactly the number of votes required, the outcome wasn’t known until the very last vote when Rep. Jeff Young, a Democrat who voted against the bill initially flipped his position and voted in favor of overruling the veto. Reportedly, cheers erupted in both legislative chambers and many lawmakers appeared stunned.
These actions make Vermont the 4th US state to legalize gay marriage, and the first to do so through legislative measures rather than court ruling.
Gay rights activists have set a goal that all New England states legalize gay marriage by 2012. Across the United States, at least 6 states currently have same-sex marriage measures before their legislatures including, Washington, New York, New Jersey and Illinois- however none of them are expected to pass.
New Hampshire’s bill, which recently passed through the House with a narrowly approved vote, could be considered in the Senate as early as this week, although Gov. Lynch has also committed to vetoing the bill (which clearly may not be the end of the road at this point.)
All I have to say is “WAY TO GO VERMONT!!!” They’ve been among those leading the nation in same-sex marriage equality for nearly a decade as the first state to offer civil unions, and now they can be counted among an extremely short list of those who have grasped the magnitude of the issue and taken action. Congratulations Vermont, congratulations!!!