Same-sex marriage bill approved
04/03/09 4:08PM By Ross Sneyd
The Vermont House voted 94-52 today in favor of legalizing marriage between same-sex couples.
The vote now puts both the House and Senate on record in favor of the law. But it also sets up an impending clash with Governor Jim Douglas, who has promised to veto the bill as soon as it passes.
The House made some relatively minor changes to the bill, so it will return to the Senate on Monday.
Senators say they expect to concur with the amendments late Monday and will immediately send the final bill to the governor.
Douglas has promised that he'll veto the bill as soon as he gets it, setting up a pair of veto override votes in the Senate and then the House on Tuesday.
Legislative leaders say they expect the Senate to easily vote to override. But the outcome in the House is much less certain. The bill did not pass with a veto-proof majority today, but the leadership says the override vote is a different question.
Editor's Note: The bill has a few differences from the version that passed the Senate last week. So senators will meet Monday at 5 p.m. and are likely to concur with the changes.
Legislative staff say the bill will be immediately taken to Governor Jim Douglas, who has promised to veto it immediately and send it back to the Senate.
That will allow the votes on Tuesday morning. To override a veto, lawmakers need two-thirds of those voting to go along. The Senate passed the bill by 26-4, well more than enough. But the House vote last night was 95-52, shy of what's needed.
Legislative leaders say they think some lawmakers will change their vote on the override.