Gay Wednesday I – the Vermont Edition

April 8, 2009 at 7:28 pm | Posted in LGBT | Leave a comment

Vermont legalizes gay marriage with override vote:

Wow that was fast. On Mondy April 6th, the Iowa state Senate voted to concur with a House gay marriage bill that was passed last week. Gov. James Douglas’ veto came moments later. But the very next day …

Lawmakers overrode Gov. James Douglas’ veto of same-sex marriage Tuesday, making Vermont the fourth state in the nation to allow gay couples to wed.

The House voted 100-49, just reaching the required two-thirds vote to negate a governor’s veto under Vermont law. The Senate earlier squashed the veto on a vote of 23-5.

Same-sex couples can begin receiving civil marriage licenses on Sept. 1, when the law is set to take effect.

The House chamber erupted with cheers and applause as House Speaker Shap Smith, D-Morristown, announced the results, his voice cracking. “You have overridden the veto,” Smith said, before quickly calling the House to order, ending the celebration.

Douglas, who called the issue of same-sex marriage a distraction, said it was now time for lawmakers to turn their attention to the state’s budget and economic woes. “What really disappoints me is that we have spent some time on an issue, during which another thousand Vermonters have lost their jobs. We need to turn our attention to balancing a budget without raising taxes, growing the economy, putting more people to work,”

Riiiiight, distracting. From Dan Savage: “If Governor Douglas had just signed the bill, or let it become law without his signature, the debate would be over, and the legislature could focus on more important things than, you know, the equality of the citizens of Vermont under the law.”

And from Joe My God: “Today’s victory in Vermont didn’t materialize out of thin air – it took years and years of tireless work by local and national activists who had to sit down over and over again with legislators, business leaders, and clergy to educate them about our issues.”

Congratulations Vermont

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