Same-Sex Marriage Update
The Vermont Legislature recently overrode Governor Jim Douglas' veto of a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The vote came nine years after Vermont adopted its first-in-the-nation civil union law. It's now the fourth state to permit same-sex marriage along with Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa and the first state to approve same-sex marriage by legislative instead of judicial action.
Responding to published reports that New York Governor David A. Paterson will introduce legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in the state, Dalia Hashad, Amnesty International USA Policy Director on Identity-based Discrimination, said: "Marriage equality is a basic human rights issue. Until same-sex couples are able to marry, they will continue to face discrimination in housing, health care and on other critical matters directly tied to familial rights."
"No individual should be prevented from this basic human right because of his or her identity," she adds. "Introduction of marriage equality in New York closely follows recent decisions by the Iowa Supreme Court and the Vermont state legislature to overturn bans. Amnesty International applauds Governor Paterson's intent to put New York in the lead nationally."
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.