Vermont Legalizes Gay Marriage – The Right Way
Vermont, the only state with a Socialist in Congress, today became the first state to legalize same-sex marriages through legislative action.
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.
The override was swift — the veto was only yesterday.
Regardless of one’s views on the merits of people of the same sex being allowed to marry, this is how drastic changes in social norms — and this is surely that — are supposed to take place. Vermont is perhaps the most liberal state in the union and has every right to make this call for itself. And the fact that this was done through an overwhelming vote of representatives accountable to the people rather than by judicial fiat makes the outcome much easier for opponents to swallow.