Editors' note: Marc Solomon is the new marriage director for Equality California, leading the organization's efforts to win marriage back in the Golden State. He recently served as the executive director of Mass Equality, where he successfully helped protect marriage equality in Massachusetts and worked for equality throughout New England.
Like clockwork, I woke up at 6 AM Pacific time, knowing the Vermont legislature would soon be voting to override Governor Jim Douglas's veto of the marriage equality bill. I turned on my computer, went to the Burlington Free Press website, and was glued to it since then. After the first vote--the Senate veto override vote--I left a message for Peter Shumlin, the President of the Vermont Senate who has become a good friend and tremendous ally over the past two years.
For the last year-plus, MassEquality--the organization I just left--has been working extremely closely with the other New England states to win full marriage equality. Last year, much of the focus was on protecting the court win in Connecticut. Since mid-2008, in partnership with the amazing leaders at Vermont Freedom to Marry (it is truly an amazing organization), I've worked very hard towards this day. Days of meetings in Vermont, meetings and conference calls with Senate President Peter Shumlin and the past and present House speakers, phone banks and volunteer canvasses into Vermont, and for the past couple of months, almost daily check-ins.
While Vermont is a small state, the symbolism of the first state with civil unions saying, very clearly, that CU is not good enough, that only marriage is... is huge.