April 26, 2000
Vermont's Governor Howard Dean
signs the nation's first civil union bill. That was the state's response to the fact that its state Supreme Court had ruled that to deny legal state recognition to committed same-sex couples was unconstitutional as violative of the principles of equal protection.
In April 2009, the Vermont legislature passed overwhelmingly, and by a single vote to spare overrode the Republican governor's veto of a law phasing out Civil Unions. Commencing September 1, 2009, no further civil unions will be created. Civil unions created prior to this date will retain their status, but these couples will have the option of entering a marriage. Marriage Equality is legislated in America for the first time.