Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Vermont legalizes same-sex marriage

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Take that, Gov. Douglas (and all you bigots across the land). The people of Vermont have spoken (through their elected representatives):

Vermont has become the fourth state to legalize gay marriage -- and the first to do so with a legislature's vote.

The Legislature voted Tuesday to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The vote was 23-5 to override in the state Senate and 100-49 to override in the House. Under Vermont law, two-thirds of each chamber had to vote for override.

The vote came nine years after Vermont adopted its first-in-the-nation civil unions law.

It's now the fourth state to permit same-sex marriage. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa are the others. Their approval of gay marriage came from the courts.

I finally saw Milk over the weekend -- an excellent movie, very nearly a great one. If only Harvey were around to see this.

Well done, Vermont. What a progressive, civilized place you are.


For more, see The Anonymous Liberal:

I repeat my prediction that, within a decade, the Supreme Court will strike down bans on gay marriage nationally.

Many conservative critics (at least the principled ones) are today praising Vermont for legalizing gay marriage the "right way," i.e., by a vote of the legislature and not by judicial decree. But I think that analysis vastly oversimplifies the issue. The reality is that what happened in Vermont today likely would not have happened but for the actions of judges in Massachusetts, and several years earlier, in Vermont.


Perhaps more importantly, however, these early judicial decisions changed the scope of the public debate. They forced people, for the first time, to grapple with the obvious tension between prevailing attitudes regarding gay rights and the inequality inherent in existing marriage laws. The fact that the world didn't collapse after gay people were allowed to enter into civil unions and then marriage also helped people adjust to the idea and get over their initial apprehensions. It changed public opinion. Without the court decisions that paved the way, it is very unlikely that this day would have come (at least at the speed it did).

Read the whole post.

See also Pam Spaulding for the oh-so-predictable reactions from the theocratic bigots of the right.


In related news:

The D.C. Council unanimously voted yesterday to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere, joining a growing number of states to loosen restrictions on the unions.

Also well done, District of Columbia.

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  • Hey Michael, nice post Congrats to VT, we here is CA should be ashamed for passing Prop 9. Whether you call it Gay Marriage or Civil Union, the basic premise is that every person should have equal rights. It’s good to see that some states are progressing, I made a list on my site of the states I think will legalize Gay Marriage first:

    By Blogger Vincetastic, at 12:38 PM  

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