Vermont House Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill 95-52

The Burlington Free Press reports:

Douglasvermont"After nearly four hours of passionate debate from supporters and
opponents of the measure, the House approved the bill by a vote of
95-52 shortly after 9 p.m. The legislation, S.115, gives same-sex
couples the right to marry in Vermont. The bill will be brought
up again Friday for final approval, then return to the Senate, where
changes to language must be approved. Should the Senate OK those
changes, the bill will head to Douglas’ desk and a promised veto. 
veto — which Douglas declared last week he would deliver — would not
kill the legislation. Instead members of the House and Senate will try
to override the veto by securing a two-thirds majority of support in
each chamber. The Senate would need 20 votes; the House would need 100
with all members in attendance."

There is no doubt members will switch their votes if Douglas proceeds with his veto. The big question is how many Democrats who voted against the measure will switch to vote with their party to override and how many Republicans who may have voted to pass the measure will switch to not override their governor.

Between now and the middle to late part of next week when the vote to override will likely come, contact (especially those in Vermont) the legislators. You can send a blanket message HERE.

Debate archive at BFP….


  1. Daniel says

    Even though it was not 100 votes, when the bill comes back again to overturn the veto from the Governor some legislators will change their “no” votes into “yes”.We are only 5 votes shy of 100 and we can definitely achieve that number.We already have enough votes in the senate for an override.Marriage equality here in Vermont is coming!

  2. Wayne says

    Is there a list out of who voted no? How many of the Democrats that pay us lip service when they want our money decided to vote against our equality? Who threw us under the bus? Who wanted to go down in history as a segregationist?

  3. says

    There were a few Dem’s who voted against and a few Rep’s who voted for. (List will be available tomorrow, so VTers can contact their reps.) A couple of the Dem’s, as Daniel pointed out, will likely change their votes to yes when the expected veto override vote comes up. (Their conscience goes both ways, it seems.) All the no votes deserve equal scorn, Rep and Dem. It’s not about the money in VT, Wayne. It’s not comparable to national politics. In the next few days, VT Freedom to Marry will try to rally the 3 or so votes necessary to override the veto. It really could go either way. I’m discouraged and hopeful.

  4. John K. says

    Also, remember that it takes 2/3 of THOSE VOTING to override the veto. That would be 98. With two dems already saying they will switch votes for the override vote, that leave one more vote if the same three do not vote. Of course it’s going to be close, but now is not the time to give up hope. Now is the time to ring those damn phones off the hook!

  5. Aaron ARowland says

    I’m not 100%, but I don’t think that’s right, John. I’m pretty sure it is 2/3 of active membership, not just those members who are voting.

  6. ZnSD says

    It’s 2/3 of those who are voting. At least, that’s what the moderators said online when I was watching it live. They need 100. With the 4 promised to switch after veto, that puts them at 99. Unbelievable. You bet there are some late night chats being had.

  7. says

    My understanding is that it must be 2/3 of those present for the override vote. (I’m sure this will be clarified tomorrow since everyone is asking about it.) 2 people were absent in the House today, one because of a family emergency. We won’t know, obviously, if all 150 will be present for an override vote until it happens.

    VTers will be working hard to get the additional votes. FYI. most of the reps. find out of state e-mails and calls annoying since it prevents them from getting to the local e-mails/calls, so I advise caution in terms of swamping them with communications. It also feeds the opposition’s (erroneous) claims that VT is succumbing to some national gay agenda. (Never mind that the entire state was plagued with robo calls last night from the National Organization for Marriage, an anti-gay group with Mormon ties. Double standards.)

  8. Travis Leverett says

    Even if this doesn’t get veto margins you have to be hopeful that this is passing with such large margin!

    But I am optimistic. I think we can do this!

    You maple, pottery loving VT’ers call your reps!

  9. KFLO says


    I’m not sure if VT legislators feel differently, but here in Indiana the reps will vote against bill because of the number of people who contacted them. I remember a representative who was on the fence ended up voting against gay rights because of all the anti-gay people that contacted outweighed those in favor. Contacting someone can go a long distance.

  10. Bruno says

    Well I hope that a number of people (at least 5) will switch their votes just because they don’t like the idea of their law being vetoed. Or something like that.

  11. Wayne says

    I would still like to see the full roll call list. Let’s see who the bigots really are! There are of course the usual suspects, the Republicans, so let’s see them. But, let us also pay special attention to the betrayers in our midst. The undercover bigots who curry favor with us with their pretty lies only to vote against our equality. Let’s list these bigot segregationists of Vermont for all to see (I’m putting the bigot list on Youtube as soon as it comes out).

  12. says

    KFLO, I can’t speak for all the legislators in VT, but my sense is they don’t want to be deluged with out of state e-mails (or calls) because it makes it harder for them to read and get thru the e-mails sent by their constituents. They’re most interested in personal stories from VTers. I think because our state is so small the legislators feel a special obligation to know their constituents. Some might vote on some overall tally of yes/no, but I suspect that is a minority.

    Wayne, the goal in VT over the next few days is to persuade a handful of Democrats to reject the governor’s expected veto. While they may indeed be bigots, putting them on a bigot list and publishing it on YouTube is probably not the best technique for winning them over.

    Just my thoughts . . . It’s depressing that, if it weren’t for our governor, today would be completely celebratory instead of nerve-wracking. We shouldn’t have to keep going thru this win by 2/3 or lose, but here we are.

  13. Disgusted American says

    Interesting how a country (OUR COUNTRY) ..constantly BOASTS about Freedom this,and Freedom that…”Liberty & Justice for All” blah blah blah…..EMPTY Meaningless words..that mean SQUAT!

    STOP calingl it GAY MARRIAGE – It’s Marriage EQUALITY
    STOP calling it SAME SEX MARRIAGE – We do NOT call hetero Marriage “Opposite Sex Marriage”

    If you don’t like Marriage Equality – then DON’T marry someone of the same sex
    NO Religion will be forced to Marry anyone they deem “unworthy”
    NO Religion will be Locked up or Fined for speaking out against LGBT people – tho Tony Perkins and the AFA WILL LIE and say otherwise(even tho that’s something Jesus would NEVER do..IF he ever existed)

    America – LIVE UP TO YOUR Constant spread of LIES about Personal Freedoms..Either we are ALL Free, or NONE of us are!

    When in America has the Public EVER gotten to VOTE on any other Minority Rights? THEY HAVEN’T!
    When in America was Religion USED to FIGHT Equality for Blacks,Women etc etc……TOO MANY TIMES to COUNT!!!

  14. Civil Unionized says

    Just wanted to know what will happen to all of us that were “CIVIL UNIONED” in VT. Will it remain just a “civil union” or will it be considered a “marriage” now??????

    So if it does go to marriage, will this now be legally accepted in other states that have passed/passing this???????

  15. says

    CIVIL UNIONIZED, in the bill that was passed by the Senate (S.115) there’s a sample marriage license form–one of the boxes you can check under “last marriage ended by” is “previous civil union did not end. marrying civil union partner.” So apparently one can “upgrade” in this way, which makes sense. They’ll obviously have clear directions on how to do this if the bill gets past the override.

    A VT marriage (if the vote goes our way–fingers still crossed) should be recognized in MA and CT and a handful of other states, but someone else can probably tell you exactly which ones.

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