Tags: gay | marriage | veto | vermont

Gay-Marriage Bill Set for Veto in Vermont

Friday, 03 Apr 2009 06:59 AM

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

BOSTON -- The Vermont House of Representatives passed a bill late on Thursday that would legalize gay marriage, but supporters failed to get enough votes to override a veto threat from the governor.

Lawmakers in the Democratic-led House voted 95-52 in support of the measure, which had already passed the state Senate by a 26-4 vote. Advocates were five votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto.

The bill, which faces a largely procedural vote on Friday before heading to the desk of Republican Governor Jim Douglas, would have made Vermont the third U.S. state, after Connecticut and Massachusetts, to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.

California briefly recognized gay marriage until voters banned it in a referendum last year.

Lawmakers in New Hampshire and Maine are also considering bills to allow gay marriage, putting New England at the heart of a divisive national debate over the issue.

In a debate that stretched nearly four hours, lawmakers who backed the bill in Vermont said they were completing a process that began in 2000 when the state became the first in the country to allow full civil unions for same-sex couples.

"The promise of full equality of the marriage statutes that we held out in 2000 by creating civil unions, we believe, has not been fulfilled," Democratic Representative William Lippert, an openly gay lawmaker, told the session.

Hundreds of supporters and opponents of the bill rallied outside the State House for much of the afternoon and filled the gallery during the debate.

Douglas said last week he would veto the bill if it reached his desk, calling on lawmakers to focus on the economy instead. Groups from outside Vermont opposed to gay marriage campaigned heavily in the state against the measure.

Many voters received automated telephone calls urging them to tell their representatives to oppose the bill.

Several lawmakers who voted against Vermont's bill on Thursday apologized to gay and lesbian friends and colleagues but said they were respecting the wishes of constituents.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, which helped to legalize gay marriage in Massachusetts and Connecticut, has set a goal of expanding gay marriage to New England's four other states by 2012. Three of those -- Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire -- already offer same-sex couples some form of legal recognition.

Forty-four states have laws explicitly prohibiting same-sex marriage, including 29 with constitutional amendments restricting marriage to one man and one woman.

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Goldman, US Agency in Mortgage Settlement Worth $1.2 Billion

Friday, 22 Aug 2014 21:30 PM

Goldman Sachs has agreed to a settlement worth $1.2 billion to resolve claims that it misled U.S. mortgage giants Fannie . . .

California Senate Passes Gun Database Checks Bill

Friday, 22 Aug 2014 22:46 PM

The California Senate passed a bill on Friday requiring local law enforcement to search a database of firearms owners in . . .

Parole for John Lennon's Killer Mark David Chapman Denied Again

Friday, 22 Aug 2014 22:19 PM

John Lennon's killer was denied release from prison in his eighth appearance before a parole board, correction officials . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved