Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Vermont legislature votes to recognize same-sex marriage, overiding governor's veto: first state to do so with "political" process; also, DC acts

Vermont became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage today, as its legislature voted to override the veto of Gov. Jim Douglas 100-49.

The AP story by Dave Gram is here.

This is the first state to legalize gay marriage with the legislative (that is, political) process, without the requirement of a state supreme court. So this development defuses right wing arguments that “activist judges” will force gay marriage on the majority.

Vermont had legalized “civil unions” back in the 1990s, when that was seen as an unusually progressive development.

Washington DC City Council moves on out-of-state partnerships and gay marriages:

Furthermore, today (April 7), the District of Columbia City Council approved a measure to recognize domestic partnerships from other states, and this may lead to recognizing full same-sex marriages from elsewhere (New York State has also done so), or even a push for full gay marriage recognition in the District. The Washington Times story by Gary Emerling is "D.C. looks at nuptials for gays; Council plan broadens law" link here. The print story is not quite as explicit as online ("D.C. Council recognizes gay marriage") (apparently appearing later Tuesday as "updated", which says that the Council has actually approved recgonition of out-of-state gay marriages as such.

The Washington Post has an editorial, Wednesday April 8, "Triumph for Equality: Common decency wins out in votes on gay marriage", link here. The Post writes "There may be understandable arguments for refusing to define same-sex unions as marriages, but there are no legitimate reasons for denying legal protections to an entire group of people simply because of who they are and whom they love. One hopes the votes in Vermont and the District augur better things to come."

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