April 7, 2009

Vermont Legislature Overrides Governor and Passes Same-Sex Marriage Law


Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Legislature voted to override Governor Jim Douglas’ veto of a bill that permits same-sex couples to marry in Vermont. The state Senate voted 23-5 to override the veto and the House of Representatives voted 100-49 to override. Two-thirds of the Senate and the House votes were necessary.

Vermont was the first state to adopt same-sex civil unions in 2000. It now joins Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa as the fourth state to change the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman to include same-sex couples. Vermont is the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through the legislature. The other state approvals involved activist judges.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled last week that the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman violates the Iowa Constitution. In the case of Varnum v. Brien, the Court unanimously agreed to permit same-sex marriage. It is now left to the people to vote on a constitutional amendment to overturn that ruling.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “It is a sad day in America when elected officials are clueless about the definition of marriage. If they cannot understand this basic human relationship between a man and a woman, then they are not competent for public office. Marriage laws regulate a social institution upon which society has been built and the future of society rests. By redefining marriage, the Vermont legislature removed the cornerstone of society and the foundation of government. “The consequences will rest on their shoulders and upon those passive objectors who know what to do but who lack the political courage to do what is right for the common good of the people.”


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