Human Rights Campaign Statement on Vermont Governor's Veto of Marriage Equality Legislation

by HRC Staff

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, came out in strong opposition to today's veto by Governor Douglas of marriage equality legislation. The bill, S. 115, which would provide marriage rights to lesbian and gay couples, passed the Vermont State Senate by a vote of 26 to 4 and the Vermont State House of Representatives by a vote of 95 to 52.

"This move by Governor Douglas denies basic human rights to lesbian and gay couples who live in the State of Vermont," said Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign. "We ask all fair-minded residents of Vermont to call their legislators immediately and urge them to stand up for equality by overriding Governor Douglas' veto. It is our hope that the Vermont legislature will override this veto and ensure that all loving and committed couples are afforded the basic right to marry."

Shortly after the House and Senate versions of the bill were reconciled today, Governor Douglas fulfilled his threat to veto the legislation, sending it back to the Vermont legislature for an override vote which is expected to take place soon. Two-thirds of legislators present in each chamber would be required to vote in favor of overriding the Governor's veto. If the legislature overrides Gov. Douglas' veto, Vermont will become the first state to provide marriage equality for committed lesbian and gay couples through the legislative process. (California's legislature has twice passed similar legislation that was vetoed and not enacted into law).

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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