April 7th, 2009
11:55 AM ET
6 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. Bob in Pa

    This is a crock. to call it marriage is an insult to all the married men and women of the world. You want to call it a "union" go ahead, but take the word marriage out.

    April 7, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. Joe in Austin

    Marriage is defined by God and the people involved, not by a government or a tiny-minded religion.

    April 7, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. thall

    Vermont legislature...thank you...thank you...thank you...thank you!

    April 7, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. A Vermonter

    I am a Vermonter who has lived here my entire life. Incidentally, I am not gay so I did not have a horse in the race so to speak. But, I am THRILLED that this legislation has passed. Equality!! Yeah!! My marriage is not at all threatened if gays can marry. The arguments against gay marriage are all ludicrous. I voted for Governor Douglas last time (actually, every time since he's run for Gov) but I am disgusted by his actions this term including his veto on this. I will never vote for this man again.

    April 7, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. MW

    With the ruling in Iowa regarding constitutional equality under the law for all it does clear the way for our state supreme court to overturn prop 8 under the same. Also the election was not constitutionaly correct in side stepping an important legistlation procedure which requires 2/3rds vote in the state senate to add a constitutional amendment. The religious right knew they didnt have the votes for it so they are trying to exploit a possible loope hole in our system of government to force their will upon everyone. What is the definition of a theocracy again?!!

    April 7, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. Evan

    This is America.
    America is NOT SUPPOSED to discriminate.
    It's unconstitutional.

    April 7, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Mike from Indy

    Amazing.....the majority of people think gay marriage is wrong, yet, because of a few judges, it becomes law. Very sick!

    April 7, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  8. Derek

    I see some states do value the constitution. It's time for the government to GET OUT OF THE BEDROOM!!!

    April 7, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. ahmed

    As i am not sure where I stand on this issue (sometimes I want there to be same-sex marriage, and sometimes I think same-sex couples should recieve the same rights as married couples, but have it be called something else), I really don't have an opinion on the bill that was passed. However, I will say this: the world is changing. That's two states in one week that have legalized same-sex marriage. To me, it looks like the start of a huge uprising of states legalizing it, and no matter if you support it or not, you must admit... our country is becoming more and more accepting, and less filled with bigots.

    April 7, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. John

    Congrats VT. Now everyone is treated equally under the law. There is no gay marriage like there's no straight marriage, it's just marriage.

    April 7, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. Benjamin Murray

    Good for vermont. I am glad that the country is slowly but surely becoming what it claims to be and doing away with such discriminatory laws that treat members of certain minorities as second class citizens. Hopefully people will finally start waking up and realizing that the governments marriage has nothing to do with the church and so there is no reason to be opposed to it- assuming you believe in the extremely important policy of separation of church and state.

    April 7, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. WhoCares?

    As Roger Waters sang " The Tide is Turning".

    April 7, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  13. Jackson

    Equality is paramount between two rational human beings.

    April 7, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Todd Shriver

    This whole freedom/equality/justice thing is getting out of hand!

    Next thing you know we'll be paying people the same wage no matter the color of their skin or their gender.

    Those folks in Vt. have a different interpretation of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution than most of the rest of us do.

    April 7, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. Michael

    Doesn't it say in the Bible somewhere that it is not up to us to judge but for God to do so. You can't throw religion at people if you are only going to pick and choose the parts that work in your favor!

    April 7, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. Dustin

    As a gay male, I really could care less if it's called marriage or not. Straight people have given marriage a bad enough name already. What does it hold that's so whole? A 50% divorce rate? Congratulations heterosexuals.

    April 7, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. Cbo

    Slowly, it's becoming clear that denying gay rights is bigotry, as simple as that, no matter what religion or 'moral code' is offered in defense. Good for you people of Vermont.

    April 7, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. RADA

    it's all about Equality!!! no more no less just Equality....

    April 7, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. Kjetil

    Same sex marrige is the only reasonable optin. Im from Norway and we have same sex-marrige there. Those who talk about bible makes me sceard. They remind me of the priest in Iran. I dont like that religious laws, that even nonebelivers have too live after.

    April 7, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  20. lis

    how simple of a statement. yet it means so very very much. go vermont!

    April 7, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. Bob

    I find it sad to see all these religious based arguments. This is a LEGAL debate and YOUR religion is irrelevant to OUR laws. If you think Gay Marriage is wrong, then don't marry a gay person. Leave them be. All people deserve human rights and the right to marry the person you love is a HUMAN RIGHT.

    April 7, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. Frank in CA

    America is about freedom, FREEDOM for EVERYONE within the law. Keep your "SHOULDS" and "RELIGIOUS DOGMA" out of my life and let me be free to live mine. Thank you Vermont for speaking up for individual liberty!

    April 7, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. Brian GA

    As a christian, I am proud of the Vermont legislature. Jesus told us to love and encourage other people. Not to discriminate and hate them. Vermont has just taken the right step in equality for all people. Now if we could get the so called "Christians" in the other 46 states to follow Jesus' teachings of love and encouragement! Congratulations Vermont on leading the way for Gay and lesbian rights in the legislative process!

    April 7, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. Mike from Calgary, AB

    What is all the fuss against legalized same-sex marrage? Doesn't everyone have the same rights under the law in the US? The religious right needs to shut up and back off. They opposed the end of segrigation, opposed giving women the right to vote and equal treatment under the law, opposed the end of slavery; I could go on.

    Here in Canada, we've had legalized same-sex marrage for over five years now. The sky has not fallen, the horsemen of the apocalypse haven't come riding over the horizon, and god's wrath hasn't struck us down. All Canadians are treated equally under the law. Time for our southern cousins below the 49th to do the same. Everyone is equal under the law.

    April 7, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. lily

    It's about the rights and protections of the federal government....get informe before judging....

    April 7, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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