Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vermont lawmakers extend marriage to same-sex couples

The Vermont legislature voted earlier this morning to extend marriage to same-sex couples.

The state Senate voted 23-5 and the House voted 100-49 in support of the bill. Governor Jim Douglas had vetoed the legislation, but lawmakers were able to override it.

“The struggle for equal rights is never easy," Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin said. “Today we have overridden the Governor's veto. I have never felt more proud of Vermont as we become the first state in the country to enact marriage equality not as the result of a court order, but because it is the right thing to do.”

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese was quick to praise the vote.

“This historic vote in the Vermont legislature reminds us of the incredible progress being made toward equality," he said in a statement. "Less than five years ago, lesbian and gay couples began marrying in Massachusetts. Now, with the Iowa court decision last Friday and today’s vote in Vermont, there will be four states recognizing the right to marry for loving, committed lesbian and gay couples.”

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