April 7th, 2009
11:55 AM ET
9 years ago

Vermont House, Senate override veto on same-sex marriage

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas had vetoed a bill to allow same-sex marriage in his state.

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas had vetoed a bill to allow same-sex marriage in his state.

(CNN) - Vermont's House and Senate voted Tuesday to override the governor's veto of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.

The Senate voted 23-5 to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto, according to the Senate office. Shortly afterward, the House overrode the veto on a 100-49 vote. The votes surpassed the number needed - two-thirds of those present - to override the veto.

The action makes Vermont the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriages. The others are Massachusetts, Connecticut and, as of last week, Iowa.

Douglas vetoed the bill on Monday. "Vermont's civil union law has afforded the same state rights, responsibilities and benefits of marriage to same-sex couples," the governor wrote in a letter to David Gibson, secretary of the Senate. "Our civil union law serves Vermont well and I would support congressional action to extend those benefits at the federal level to states that recognize same sex unions. But I believe that marriage should remain between a man and a woman."

Filed under: Same-sex marriage • Vermont
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Brian Crooks

    Yes! Another one bites the dust! The most overlooked provision in the Iowa court decision was that the law didn't require churches to sanction same-sex marriages. That was one of the biggest lies told in the Prop 8 campaign: that gays could sue priests for not performing their ceremonies. All this law does is allow gay men and lesbian women to have identical legal status as their heterosexual counterparts. Plus, this will bring a TON of revenue to VT as well as IA. Have you ever been to a gay wedding? Those dudes really go all out. Congrats, VT!

    April 7, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. Sniffit

    And come next election, I'm willing to bet the people of VT "override" the Governor's desire for another term in office.

    Let me just say this about that: NEENER NEENER NEENER!!!

    April 7, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. Robert

    About time!

    Equality is marching on!

    April 7, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Dave NYC

    This is democracy in action folks. All the bigots-in-denial can't blame "activist" judges on this one.

    April 7, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. KS

    Finally some common sense. This is the right thing to do if you believe that our Constitution says that ALL men are created equal. Religion is just going to have to get used to this idea because its here to stay.

    April 7, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. frank thomas

    Now hopefully the courts in California will nullify Prop 8 the bill sponsered by religious groups like the mormons who spent thousnds of dollars on the yes campaign of hate against a minority, the gay people in the United States will prevail and we will have equality,no more back of the bus for us. This will send a message to religious zealots that their message of hate and bigotry will not be tolerated.

    April 7, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. PaulMoATX

    Sweet. The world is changing as many remain stagnate to what is going on around them, which is progress and civil rights for all.

    April 7, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. Frank


    Now, let's get some of that common sense and decency down here in North Carolina!

    April 7, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Pete

    I'm proud of you, Vermont.

    Vermont, Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts now have FULL equality under the law. Only 46 more states to go.

    April 7, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. patNY

    MARRIAGE EQUALITY BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.....even through the voice of the people through their legislature! Thanks VT! Keep the ball rolling California Sup. Ct. and overturn that nasty Prop 8! NY...get your act together and legislate marriage equality as well!

    April 7, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. Kate

    Wonderful! It seems a tide of secular sanity and equality is finally beginning to sweep aside the artifacts of theocracy left by the last administration.

    The country is almost beginning to resemble a secular democracy again, where laws are based on fairness and equality rather than ideology and personal religious bigotries...

    April 7, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. afam agana

    America is fast turning into modern soddom and gomorrah.The wrath of God shall soon befall the nation.be warned!

    April 7, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Jay, Northern Virginia

    Great job Vermont! I am very proud of this step to give every person in the United States the right to happiness! I am disappointed that the Vermont's governor does not see that everyone has the right to marry who they wish. I look foward to see what the next steps will be on the country's stage when it comes to this issue.

    April 7, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Anonymous

    Vermont is the first state to legalize gay marriage through the legislative process. Hurray Vermont for supporting their gay citizens right to pursue happiness and the American Dream!

    April 7, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. Tony in Maine

    Assuming that the law does not require men to marry men and women to marry women, it would probably be best for control freaks to climb down off their righteous podium and simply mind their own business.

    April 7, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. kerry, ca

    I hope the recent decisions in Iowa and Vermont will help overturn Prop 8 in California.

    April 7, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Marriage is between man and woman. Period! The first two people on Earth were Adam & Eve. Man & woman. Not Adam and James, or Lisa and Mary.

    April 7, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  18. Enlightened Voter

    Why is this even an issue? People should be allowed to marry whomever they want, period. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then don't marry someone of your sex, good GOD! I am sick and tired of rethuglicans, evil as they are, pushing their beliefs on others.

    April 7, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. ATR

    As a straight non-gay Vermont-resident, I am so proud. All consenting adults should have the right to marry the person of their choice. Democracy at its finest.

    April 7, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. JPM

    This is great, two States in one week, and while Iowa is huge having a Mid-western State go that direction, this one is great in that it didn't require the intervention of the Courts, it was legalized by the Legislature – meaning the anti-Equal Protection crowd can't complain about "Activist Judges" "Legislating from the bench".

    April 7, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. Kelly

    Well then "no same sex marriage" - don't marry someone of the same sex...simple. Lay off our right to equal protection. Your marriage to your opposite sexed individual will not be threatened and your children will not be foreced into a same sexed marriage either–so stop working yourself up over it. MARRIAGE IS SO GAY!!!! Pass it on...

    April 7, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. activate me

    Nothing terrifies Americans more than freedom.

    April 7, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. Corey, Maryland


    April 7, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. Chris McTaggart

    Congrats Vermont!!! I can't wait to book our trip... We are getting married!!

    April 7, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Indiana Voter

    The United States is on a collision course with Almighty God! Be sure you are on the right side, or it will be too late for you. You may not believe now, but eventually everyone will.

    April 7, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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