Vermont Freedom to Marry
Vermont's House and Senate made history today, overriding the Governor's veto of S.115 and making Vermont the first state to embrace the freedom to marry through our elected representatives without a court order. Congratulations to all of us!
The final vote in the House was 49 votes to sustain the veto, and 100 votes to override it -- an override by the slimmest of margins. We are deeply indebted to legislative leaders for recognizing the importance of our families and our rights, and to all those legislators who stood by us -- some at considerable political risk. The courage that many leaders have shown over the past several weeks is inspiring, and we've seen the best of representative democracy in action. To our supporters in the Legislature: You have stood up for us, and we will stand with you in the days to come. We urge you to write each and every legislator (House and Senate) who stood with us on the override vote. Let them know you appreciate their support, and what they've been through.
This is a proud day for Vermont and Vermonters. Throughout this three and a half week process, we have engaged with one another with as much civility and respect as possible given the intensity of the heartfelt views many of us -- across the spectrum -- brought into this debate. And in the end, we did the right thing. The forces of justice, fairness and love proved far stronger than one man's veto pen.
And along the way, we built new bridges. The debate galvanized the majority of Vermonters in the quest for fairness and inclusion, uniting the business community, clergy and ordinary folks from the four corners of our state. In our editorial pages we've seen compelling calls for justice, personal stories, and thoughtful analysis. And in communities around the state, thousands of Vermonters stepped up to the plate -- writing your legislators, coming to the Statehouse, knocking on doors, and making phone calls. Some of you have never engaged in the political process before, and some hadn't thought much about the freedom to marry until it hit the front page. But you opened your hearts, heard a better future calling, and dedicated yourself to making our world a more loving place.
And the courage of every single legislator, and the commitment of every single volunteer and donor, has made a difference. We made it over the top without a cushion. Every single one of us has truly mattered.