Marriage Equality USA

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Legislation - Enacted

No. 91 An Act Relating to Civil Unions

Author/Sponsor: Representative Bill Lippert
Date Introduced: 3 February 2000
Date Enacted: 1 July 2000


  • In 2000, the Legislature responded to the Baker decision (see Baker v. Vermont under Lawsuits-Resolved below) by instituting civil unions for same-sex couples after an acrimonious and deeply polarizing debate. The legislation, which took effect on July 1, also defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman, an explicit statement previously not found in Vermont's marriage licensing statute.
  • The legislation passed on 15 March 2000.
Marriage Equality Act (Vermont)

Author/Sponsor: Representative Mark Larson and 59 co-sponsors
Date Introduced: 6 February 2009 (A prior bill had been introduced in February 2007 but no action was taken on it.)
Date Enacted: 1 September 2009


  • 23 March 2009, the State Senate approved same-sex marriage legislation; however, Governor Jim Douglas threatened to veto it.
  • 3 April 2009, the State House passed an amended version of the bill 95–52, several votes shy of a veto-proof two-thirds majority.
  • 6 April 2009, the Senate approved the amendments made by the House and the governor vetoed the legislation as promised.
  • 7 April 2009, the Senate overrode the veto by a 23–5 vote and the House overrode it 100–49.
  • 1 September 2009, the law went into effect.