For Immediate Release
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Hails Enactment of Vermont Legislation Granting the Freedom to Marry to Same-Sex Couples
Vermont becomes the fourth state allowing same-sex couples to marry
WASHINGTON - The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hails the Vermont Legislature's override today of Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of a bill extending the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. The Senate passed the measure by 23 to 5 and the House by 100 to 49. Vermont is the first state in the nation to extend the freedom to marry through the legislative process.
Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
"Vermont is once again making history. Nine years ago it did so when it became the first state to grant legal recognition of same-sex relationships through its civil unions law; today, it became the first state Legislature to pass and enact a marriage equality measure.
"This is a momentous day and significant turning point in the struggle for the equal treatment of our relationships. The enactment of this bill affirms that only marriage can provide the protections, dignity and respect that the institution bestows. This vote also recognizes that civil unions simply fall short in ensuring same-sex couples are treated equally under the law.
"We salute the courage and commitment of the Vermont state legislative leadership in pursuing this measure's passage - even successfully overriding the governor's veto. We especially extend our heartfelt thanks to Vermont Freedom to Marry for its hard work and tireless advocacy for the freedom to marry."
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, building the organizational capacity of our movement and generating groundbreaking research through our Policy Institute.