Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Marriage Equality in Vermont

"And the walls come tumbling down"

As reported by the Burlington Free Press, the Vermont legislature has just overriden the governor's veto of a bill opening civil marriage to couples regardless of sex/gender. With Iowa last Friday, that makes two states to honor marriage equality within five days, doubling the number of states that allow same-sex couples to marry, with Massachusetts and Connecticut the other two, since Prop 8 is in effect in California precluding the state from issuing new marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Vermont also becomes the first state to do so without court command (since the Baker v. State decision in 1999 left Vermont the initial choice of opening up marriage or creating another institution to provide the rights, benefits, and obligations of marriage, which the legislature did by creating "civil unions"). Add to that the fact that Vermont was the first state to abolish slavery and it really appears to be a path-breaking state.

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