Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vermont Same-Sex Marriage Bill Conquers Governor's Veto!


With the Senate's vote to override 23-5 and now the House with a vote 100-49, there is now officially same-sex marriage in Vermont! It now joins Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa, becoming the fourth state in the country to allow same-sex marriage. (Four states! That's double the number in less than a week!)

Struggling to keep his voice from cracking with joy, Vermont House Speaker, Shap Smith, proudly announced that Gov. Jim Douglas' veto to keep same-sex marriage out of Vermont had been overridden.

This override is historical for many reasons, but one major reason is that this is the first time in history that marriage equality has come to existence in a state not through the courts, but through the legislature. And not only that, but survived a veto.

Vermont yet again stands by its history of progress and civil rights legislation.

Rep. Don Turner, R-Milton voted not to override because he believed that this bill doesn't "radically helps the lives of same-sex couples" or their families. He said he extended courtesy to those who were on the other side of the issue, but he said he didn't receive the same treatment in return.

"I am tired of being told how to vote either way," said Rep. Scott Wheeler, R-Derby, "Serving the Vermont House does not define who I am." He went on to focus on the economy and that the state needed to reunite to take care of these pressing issues and move on past the marriage debate.

Rep. Greg Clark, R-Vergennes "Anyone who is disrespectful in their comments to me, or what I thought was disrespectful, I could easily but those aside. I will remember the sincerity. I will remember the sincere passion on both sides of the issues. Those. . . are goods thing for a country boy like me to remember."

In the end, the vote was 100-49 to kill the veto. Let's go celebrate with some maple syrup!

Much thanks to Burlington Free Press for their amazing live coverage and pictures.

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