The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Vaishalee Raja, Communications Director,PHONE: (916) 284-9187,EMAIL:,

Equality California Applauds Vermont Legislature Vote in Favor of the Freedom to Marry

Sends Another Strong Signal to the California Supreme Court


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

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.

Equality California is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians.