Can same-sex couples marry in Vermont?
Yes. On April 7, 2009, Vermont became the first state to obtain marriage rights for same-sex couples through a legislative process rather than a court case. The bill, S.115 An Act to Protect Religious Freedom and Recognize Equality in Civil Marriage (the “Marriage Act”) (See An Act Relating to Civil Marriage at: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2010/bills/Passed/S-115.pdf), was passed by the legislature on April 3, 2009; vetoed by the Governor on April 6, 2009; and the veto was overridden by the Senate (23-5) and the House (100-49) on April 7, 2009. The Marriage Act took effect on September 1, 2009.
This was the result of nearly 15 years of relentless work by Vermont Freedom to Marry, under the leadership of Beth Robinson. GLAD was pleased to have been able to provide some assistance and support to the effort.
Six years later, in Obergefell v. Hodges (135 S.Ct. 2584 (2015)), the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality a reality nationwide when it held that the U.S. Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry. GLAD’s own Mary Bonauto represented the plaintiffs during oral arguments. Post-Obergefell, all 50 states are required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and all states must respect the marriages of same-sex couples performed in other jurisdictions.