Vermont’s legislature voted Tuesday to override the veto of Governor Jim Douglas (R) and become the fourth state to recognize gay marriage. This follows Iowa only last week, which achieved the same result through a vote of its Supreme Court. On the same day, the District of Columbia voted to recognize such marriages in other states.
There are similar efforts on the way in New Hampshire, Maine and New Jersey. These victories have taken some of the sting from the recent setback in California. However, it may also need new momentum for a federal constitutional amendment, particularly given the value of the issue to rally the religious rights after its recent political setbacks.
There are 43 U.S. states with laws prohibiting gay marriages, including 29 with constitutional amendments. The federal government has a Defense of Marriage Act pushed through with the support of Bill Clinton to deny recognition of such marriages.