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On April 7, 2009, Vermont became the fourth state to uphold the freedom to marry. Earlier in 2009, the Vermont legislature passed a bill ending the exclusion of gay couples from marriage, but Gov. Jim Douglas vetoed the bill. Immediately the bill went back to the Vermont legislature, and with a newfound, veto-proof 2/3 majority in each chamber, they achieved a successful override of the governor's veto.

The first marriages for same-sex couples began on September 1, 2009. Advocates in the state continue to work to preserve the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.


Vermont was the first state to create civil unions in 2000. Although the civil union law lacked many of the protections that marriage provides, the development was a historic breakthrough at the time.

In 2007, a bill was introduced in the Vermont legislature to allow the freedom to marry, but the bill stalled in a committee that had been devised to study marriage between same-sex couples.


  • Vermont Freedom to Marry is Vermont's central statewide organization working to protect the freedom to marry.
  • Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.
  • Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. 


According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 2,143 same-sex couples are living in Vermont, representing 8.4 same-sex couples per 1,000 households. 

Blog Posts Related to Vermont

How we won the freedom to marry across New England

Yesterday's vote in Rhode Island makes it all but certain that this year, same-sex couples in states across New England will be able to share in the freedom to marry. How did we get here? Let's go back to 2004 and track how marriage moved forward across the region

11 State Democratic Party Chairs endorse freedom to marry plank

Today 11 State Democratic Party chairs from across the country joined in support of a freedom to marry plank in the party’s national platform. The chairs include John Burton (CA), Jay Jacobs (NY), John Walsh (MA), Ken Martin (MN), Meredith Wood Smith (OR), Boyd Richie (TX), Jake Perkinson (VT), Mike Tate (WI), Dwight Pelz (WA), Jon Wisniewski (NJ), and Joan Wagnon (KS).

Breaking: Senate Hearing on DOMA expected in “coming weeks”

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced today the Committee will hold the first congressional hearing on repealing the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in the “coming weeks.”

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Resources Related to Vermont

Party Principles: Support for the Freedom to Marry by State and National Political Parties

A listing of both state and national political parties that have made strong statements in support of the freedom to marry.

Study says Marriage Equality Good for Vermont Economy

Study predicts that marriage equality in Vermont will have a positive impact on the state economy, generating $31 million in new spending over the next three years

Vermont Census Snapshot

Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Vermont.

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