Lawmakers in Vermont have voted to override the governor's veto of legislation that allows same-sex couples to marry.
While federal law still only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman, the Vermont legislation is significant for employers because of the host of benefits and tax breaks for married couples governed by state law.
Vermont becomes the second state in a week to legalize gay marriage. Late last week, the Supreme Court of Iowa upheld a ruling that found a state law limiting marriage to a union between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.
Vermont and Iowa join Massachusetts and Connecticut in allowing gay marriage. In May 2008, the Supreme Court of California ruled that state laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples are unconstitutional, but voters approved a ballot measure in November that banned gay marriage once again.
The legislation allowing gay marriage in Vermont becomes effective September 1, 2009.