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. Moody

    TO: Dutch/Bad Newz, VA: Go back to your trailor park.

    TO: afam agana: Gay marriage has been leagl in Massachusettes for years and they are doing just fine.

    TO; no same sex marriage: seperate but equal is against the constitution.

    Great Day for Vermont!!!!!!

    This country is becoming more educated and more human. The crazy religious fanatics are dieing off and we are beoming a more civilized nation!

    April 7, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. John in Ohio

    Best one sentence news post ever.

    Oh, and hate-filled religious conservatives? This was a democratic act by large majorities of the Vermont state legislature to legalize gay marriage through the legislative process. No activist judges to blame. Can't say they're ignoring the will of the majority. Vermont has legalized gay marriage.

    Time now to see how little state's rights are worth to Republicans.

    April 7, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. mike b

    Ridiculous. these gay zealots ignore my right to raise my child in a traditional environment. If you don't like america then leave. Stop flushing my country down the toilet

    April 7, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Edward Blake

    Yay for Vermont!

    April 7, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Jeffrey

    I am so happy for the people of Vermont. Who does this Douglas guy think he is for vetoing in the first place. There is no reason to not allow inclusive marriage laws in this country, esp if the reason is because of some false beliefs from a sun god, I mean Christianity. Lets be real, the story of Jesus was stolen form Egyptian god Horus and America was meant to be free from religion.

    April 7, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Chris

    I know most of you can't see through you own folly, but you'll soon experience the punishment of the choices America makes.

    Our financial and social system isn't collapsing due to safe and sound practices.

    April 7, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. Tom

    I wish the religious people would be more concerned about preventing gay bashing and less concerned about preventing gay marriage.

    April 7, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. EBC, MD


    They have proven that they are ahead of the rest of the "old farts" in other states who are still living in the ice age.


    April 7, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Spike

    I am so glad Vermont legalized gay marriage. We seem to be on a good track for gay rights in the U.S. and its about time. Congrats! to Vermont!

    April 7, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. Concerned

    The purpose of marriage in the traditional sense was to procreate and have children through the act of intercourse. If homosexuals want to be together, I have no problem with that. However, the word Marriage should not be used for their union. They can have the same rights but one thing they cannot do is create children, in the traditional sense.

    April 7, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Adam in Wisconsin

    Why even call it marriage in any form? I'm not religious, and my girlfriend and I have no need to get "married." We share everything from our house to our cars to finances and our three year old daughter.

    A Union is all it is for both sides. Marriage is what people think their god will call it. And since we are to leave religion out of the state (which I whole heartedly agree with), then why even call it marriage? It should all be unions.

    And Gays have as many rights as Straights, and withholding them their rights because you are a bigot or religious nut job is wrong. Just plain wrong.

    Good job Vermont and Iowa, way to step up the challenge. Prop 8 needs to get passed, and I am still peeved about Wisconsin banning gay marriage.

    April 7, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. rich

    Who cares if gays want to get married? I could care less if they do. Their marriage does not affect me one way or the other. I don't sleep any less soundly because gays wish to get married. I think people should live and let live, and stop trying to live other peoples lives thru so called moral or religous thinking. Homesexuality is not contageous. People are who they are, and if two men or two women luv each other and wish to live in a marriage, then the majority with a differing view should not get in the way of their decision. Heterosexual marriage is hardly a model for comparison as more than half ends in divorce, and the rest everyone is cheating on the other. So for all the religous and moral nuts, God is quite busy just dealing with your "immorality" least that of gays. Leave these people alone. If they want to luv each other, marry each other, sex each other, it's their business and not ours.

    April 7, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. SunDevilAZ

    Way to go Vermont!!
    In relation to a few of the comments, I don't see how gay marriage is a ploy of any kind or how gay marriage demeans marriages between man/woman. The value is that now both groups can have equal protection under civil law.

    April 7, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. Maggie

    Vermont is one of the states God will judge most severly like He id Sodom and Gomorrah. Watch the AIDS and HIV rates go up and it serves them right but we the tax payers will have to pay for their medications and hospital bills as well as disability when they get disabled from theri disease. Now as well the health care benefits for people like that. Before it is all over with they will be begging God's merch and people's kindness. Homosexuality is not a disease. It is a moral issue, Theyare not born that way, they choose that way.

    April 7, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. Frank Taylor

    Just because a state passes one small piece of sensible legislation doesn't make America a free country by any stretch of the imagination.

    When a Country has a law forbidding it's citizens from visiting another Country or buying it's cigars you are still light years away from being a modern society.

    The fact is the holier than thou are the dumbest of the dumb yet they still influence an entire country. You know like those in the Middle East.

    April 7, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. John

    I find it interesting and sad that some people believe that rights can be voted on. The right to marry is inherent and inalienable. Any law, be it by the majority of the people or other means that denies a right is an illigetimate law.

    Congratulations to the people of Vermont for having elected a legislature that embraces the notion of rights.

    April 7, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    The "union" v. "marriage" semantics debate is nothing more (and nothing less) than "separate but equal" rhetoric. Our country already decided where to stand on that a long time ago. Supporting codification of the distinction in SECULAR legislation, rather than relying solely on your religious institution to determine which "unions" it wil sanctify as "married," is a repeat of an old mistake and a step backwards for our society.

    April 7, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. phoenix86

    A dark day in Vermont's history.

    April 7, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. Freed_From_W

    Everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, should be allowed to marry and call it marriage if they so desire.

    Bigots and hypocrites are why freedom to do so hasn't become National Law yet. Thanks for keeping us back in the 1960's, right wing hatemongers.

    Anyone who is against same-sex marriages is either one of two people:
    1. Someone who's irrational belief in a 2k year old story is blinding them to the reality that they live in.
    2. Someone who once saw two men or two women kissing and felt strangely aroused by it – that caused them internal confusion, which they turned into baseless blind hatred.

    April 7, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. Brett

    Love will Prevail!!! This is Great News! Spread Love and Equality.. for all!

    April 7, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Steve

    Marvelous news.

    The dominos are falling, and the bigots are on the run. 🙂

    April 7, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. RH

    Civil unions are fine – gay couples should absolutely have the same rights to tax, insurance, estate protections, etc. However, no partnership between two people of the same sex will ever be a marriage. This is another example of political correctness run amok. Elected officials have been cowed by a campaign of semantic warfare against heterosexuality.

    April 7, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. jake

    a step closer to "liberty and justice FOR ALL!"

    April 7, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. dan in Tucson

    Thus another smack down of human rights. Anyone making such judgments based on their personal beliefs should be ashamed of themselves. Our country was founded on freedoms not based on any religious or personal belief and diminishes our constitution every time a judgment is passed based on how a small group of people tell us how to live our lives. I am not gay, and would never make such judgments on those who are.

    April 7, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. Kent in CA

    It is time for a US Supreme Court ruling on applying the 'full faith and credit' clause on this issue? Marraige in one state must be recognized in all other states per Article IV Section 1 of the United States Constitution.
    Additionally, as long as Federal benefits are denied partners in some states and granted in others, we still have an inequitable application of the law.
    All people must have all the same rights. 'Separate but equal' proposals (e.g. civil unions) are the wrong answer. That's the same as telling certain classes of people that they can only ride in certain sections of the bus.
    The only other solution is to remove all references to marraige from all state and federal laws (tax codes, rights of inheritance, survivor benefits, child custody, etc.) and make marraige solely a religious contract.
    Until the law is equal for all people we have discrimination.

    April 7, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
1 2 3 4 5