No, Vermont DIDN'T have gay marriage before - the only states until Wednesday night to "allow" same sex couples to marry were Massachussetts, Connecticut and Iowa (though not til late April). Vermont was the first in the country to have a Civil Union bill, and while that's not the same thing it did get this whole ball rolling.
(What's in the soil or the air of New England that it's the home of brave people who think about liberty and justice, who believe ths state can be an instrument of good and of redress, from John Adams to Ted Kennedy to the trailblazers in the Vermont state legislature?)
Why is this significant, beyond the obvious fact that gay and lesbian Vermonters will now be able to have legal support to their unions? It's significant because it's the first time in the U.S. that a legislature voted for gay marriage - and voted for it overwhelmingly, over-riding a Republican governor's veto (and no, I have no idea how Vermont got a Republican governor), with a 23-5 vote in the Vermont State Senate and a 100-49 vote in the Vermont House.