GAY MARRIAGE BECOMES LAW IN VERMONT…. What a very pleasant surprise.

The Vermont House has voted, 100-49 to override Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto of a bill that would allow same-sex marriage.

Vermont will become the fourth state to legalize marriages of gay and lesbian couples. The others are Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa.

The Vermont Senate voted earlier this morning to override Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto of the same-sex marriage legislation. The vote passed, 23-5.

To override the governor’s veto, the House needed a minimum of 100 votes. The bill got exactly 100 votes.

This is a breakthrough moment in the history of social justice, and Vermont — my adopted home state — has every reason to be very proud. Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa all got to marriage equality a little quicker, but each did so based on judicial rulings.

Vermont’s new law is a first — elected officials chose to give all of the consenting adults in the state the right to get married, not because of a court ruling or lawsuit, but because they decided it was the right thing to do.

Take a bow, Vermont. It’s a proud day.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.