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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Equality California Applauds Vermont Legislature Vote in Favor of the Freedom to Marry
Sends Another Strong Signal to the California Supreme Court
WASHINGTON - April 7 - Today, Vermont became the forth state in the nation to legalize marriage for same-sex couples and the first to do so through a bill passed by the state legislature. Vermont joins Iowa, Massachusetts and Connecticut as the only states that allow same-sex couples to marry.
In response to this news, Equality California Marriage Director Marc Solomon released the following statement.
"The Vermont Legislature, just as the Iowa Supreme Court last week, understands the tremendous significance of marriage, and that domestic partnerships and civil unions simply do not provide the same dignity and protections that come with marriage. We applaud the courage and conviction of Vermont's elected representatives who put politics aside and voted for freedom and equality for all people.
"Today's vote should send another strong message to the California Supreme Court that discrimination has no place in our laws and should not be enshrined in the California Constitution, the purpose of which is to protect all Californians equally."
In 2005 and again in 2007, California was the first state in the nation whose legislature passed a bill, sponsored by Equality California, extending the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill, which did not have the necessary votes to override the veto. The Vermont bill was vetoed earlier by Governor Jim Douglas, but was overridden by a two-thirds majority in both houses of the Vermont Legislature, 100-49 in the House and a 23-5 in the Senate.
Equality California is currently a plaintiff in the legal challenge against Prop. 8, which revised the Constitution by defining marriage as between one man and one woman, stripping same-sex couples of their right to marry. The California Supreme Court will issue its ruling by June 3rd.