Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Vermont House Votes for Gay Marriages

StoryMarch 17, 2000
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Yesterday, the Vermont House moved toward approving historic legislation allowing gays to form "civil unions’’ that would carry many of the benefits–and burdens–of marriage. The bill takes Vermont to the very edge of recognizing gay marriage. It if passes, Vermont will have gone further than any other state in recognizing same-sex couples. The legislation has the support of Democratic Governor Howard Dean and is also expected to win Senate approval.

Gay couples who form civil unions would be entitled to some 300 state benefits or privileges available to married couples, in such areas as inheritance, property transfers, medical decisions, insurance and taxes. Such couples could file a joint state income tax return, for example.

The federal government still would not recognize such unions with regard to such things as immigration rights, Social Security and federal taxes. Congress and more than 30 states have passed laws denying recognition to same-sex "marriages" performed in other states. Nonetheless, some suggest those state laws might not apply to same-sex "civil unions" performed in Vermont.

The entire issue was forced on the Legislature because the state Supreme Court ruled in December that same-sex couples are being unconstitutionally denied the benefits of marriage. The high court left it up to the Legislature to decide whether to allow gay marriages or create some kind of domestic partnership.


  • David Goodman, author of ??Fault Lines: Journeys into the New South Africa (U. California Press, 1999).
  • Nina Beck, one of three couples in the suit Baker v. Vermont, which led to the court decision which paved the way for the recognition of gay and lesbian unions.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation