Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vermont Brings Change in Marriage Laws

This has been a good couple of weeks for same-sex couples — on the East Coast! First the courts in Iowa (technically more the Midwest than East coast, but you get my drift) struck down a ban against same-sex marriages, and today Vermont’s Legislature overturned a veto of the Republican governor on a bill establishing gay marriages.

Several media outlets have pointed out, and rightly so, that Vermont’s action is unique because it was done by political leaders on their own beliefs in equal rights and not as a reaction to the courts. I find this incredibly heartening because as a resident of Hawaii, the Hawaii courts ruled it discriminatory to deny same-sex couples marriage licenses and that state’s Legislature went into reactionary mode to develop laws to write a same-sex marriage ban into the state books. That reactionary tone as been duplicated in many state houses across this country.

So in the past while it has been the courts that have been shining the light on this injustice in society, Vermont’s case shifted the courage to the legislature. One day, hopefully, the populist will finally cry out for equality for all.

(The Vermont law goes into effect Sept. 1. Time for some fall weddings.)

Links to news stories:
Gay Marriage Passes, Burlington Free Press
Vermont Legislature Makes Same-Sex Marriage Legal, New York Times
Vermont Legislature Gives Final OK to Gay Marriages, Los Angeles Times

Vermont Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage, San Francisco Chronicle

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