Vermont Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage
The Vermont Senate and House both overrode the governor’s veto of a same-sex marriage bill on this day. The issue had been forced by a State Supreme Court decision on December 20, 1999 (Baker v. Vermont), ruling that the state constitution afforded same-sex couples the same protection as opposite-sex couples.
The political and legal climate regarding same-sex marriages changed dramatically in the 2000s, as an increasing number of states legalized same-sex marriages and federal courts began declaring unconstitutional state prohibitions on such marriages.
The Supreme Court declared a major provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional on June 26, 2013 in the case of Windsor v. United States, ruling that the federal government had to recognize legal same sex marriages. In the year following the Windsor decision, a number of federal courts declared state prohibitions of same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional, and another major Supreme Court case on this issue seemed inevitable.
Learn more about same-sex marriage at Lambda Legal: http://www.lambdalegal.org/issues/marriage-relationships-and-family-protections
Learn more: Dudley Clendinen and Adam Nagourney, Out for Good: The Struggle to Build a Gay Rights Movement in America (1999)
Learn more at a timeline on same-sex marriage in America: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/pages/history-and-timeline-of-marriage
Read about the history of the GLBT revolution: Lillian Faderman, The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle (2015)