The Vermont state legislature overrode Governor Jim Douglas’ veto of a bill that would allow same-sex marriage in the state this morning. According to the Associated Press, the vote to override the governor’s veto was 100 to 49 in the state House and 23 to 5 in the state Senate. Vermont is now the fourth state to permit same sex marriage in the United States after Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa.
Vermont became the first state to give civil recognition to gay and lesbian couples with the passage of legislation that established civil unions in the state in 2000. At the time, this law granted same-sex partners the most comprehensive system of domestic partner benefits in the nation, qualifying them for the some 300 rights and benefits available to married couples in the state.