On the heels of the Iowa Supreme Court decision allowing gay marriage in that state, Vermont recently added itself to the small-but-growing list of states now permitting it, as CBS News reports:

Vermont on Tuesday became the fourth state to legalize gay marriage — and the first to do so with a legislature’s vote.

The House recorded a dramatic 100-49 vote — the minimum needed — to override Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto. Its vote followed a much easier override vote in the Senate, which rebuffed the Republican governor with a vote of 23-5.

Vermont was the first state to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples and joins Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa in giving gays the right to marry. Their approval of gay marriage came from the courts.

Previously, Vermont had the distinction of being the first state of all the 50 to grant any rights to gay couples in 2000. This had been due to a 1999 ruling by the Vermont Supreme Court (Baker v. Vermont); the 2000 legislative act creating civil unions in Vermont had been at the state Supreme Court’s direction.

At the time, Vermont had been vilified around the country for having “caved in” to the “gay agenda” (whatever that is). The governor at the time, Howard Dean — before then a relatively conservative Democrat — thus gained a then-undeserved reputation as an “extreme Lefty” for having signed that law … apparently few people outside Vermont paid attention to the fact that he was required to do so by virtue of the Baker v. Vermont decision!

Since then Vermont has been laughed at by the Religious Right as a “Lefty” state, even though by most standards it is not that “Left-wing,” especially compared with the rest of New England, which in fact is very much “Left-wing.” I expect this erroneous belief will become even more intense, because of this veto override.

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