Nine years after becoming the first state to allow same-sex civil unions, Vermont has become the first state to approve same-sex marriage without a court order.
The Vermont House on April 7 overrode an earlier veto by Governor Jim Douglas in a 100-49 vote, following a lopsided veto override by the state Senate. Vermont becomes the fourth state—and the second in a week—to allow gay marriage, joining Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa.
On the same day, the District of Columbia took the first step toward recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, a move that some predict may ultimately lead to legalized gay weddings in the nation’s capital.
Gay rights groups said the Vermont decision—particularly its lack of a court mandate—will no doubt have ramifications in other states. California lawmakers, for example, have twice passed gay marriage bills that were vetoed by Gover nor Arnold Schwarzenegger.