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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Vermont legislature approves same-sex marriage law, overriding veto
Brian Jackson at 11:52 AM ET

[JURIST] The Vermont Legislature [official website] on Tuesday voted to override Governor Jim Douglas' veto of a bill [text, PDF] legalizing same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] in the state. Both the House [roll call vote; VPR audio] and Senate [roll call vote; VPR audio] surpassed the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto [text, PDF], which Douglas executed Monday [Burlington Free Press report], with votes of 100-49 and 23-5, respectively. New Hampshire appears to be the next state to tackle the controversial issue, as the House of Representatives passed a bill [JURIST report] legalizing same-sex marriage in March.

With the override, Vermont becomes the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage, joining Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa [JURIST reports], and the first state to do so through a vote of the legislature. California had allowed [JURIST news archive] same-sex marriages until November 2008, when Proposition 8 passed 52-48. Vermont became the first state to offer civil unions to same-sex couples when then-Governor Howard Dean signed H.B.847 [text] into law in April 2000.

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