Vermont Appoints Commission to Explore Gay Marriage

The Vermont legislature has created a commission to hold public hearings intended to see whether or not Vermont residents are ready to move beyond their civil union law and make gay marriage legal in the state.

VermontstatehouseThe AP reports: “The 10-member commission will be led by Tom Little, a former state representative who served as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in 2000, the year the Legislature passed a law that granted same-sex couples the rights and responsibilities of marriage through civil unions. The volunteer commission will hold public hearings and is scheduled to complete its study by the end of April and report to the Legislature.”

As expected, Democrats and Republicans have expressed opposing views about the possibility, which wouldn’t be debated until 2009.

Republican Governor Jim Douglas says the state shouldn’t “reopen the wounds” inflicted during the state’s civil union debate, while House Speaker Gaye Symington says that, as far as gay marriage goes, “the question has been when, not so much as whether.”


  1. Stephen says

    “Gay marriage” is an oxymoron. Therefore, it cancels itself. The audacity of VT legislature to consider this is an affront to marriage. Rather, they should work on enhancing the language of their civil union laws to afford more benefits to same sex couples.

  2. KevinVT says

    Actually, it’s not at all unlikely that it will go somewhere. It’s been 7 years since Vermont was the first state to grant Civil Unions, the marriage that dare not speak its name. The only difference between marriage and CUs in Vermont is the name, and by now most people have realized the sky didn’t fall. Yes, there are still a few crazies out there, but the majority of Vermonters are much more enlightened than you might think.

    Symington and Shumlin have found a way to engage the people in a dialogue so there won’t be accusations of rushing to judgment.

    Stephen: the only way to afford more benefits is to change the only thing that’s different for CUs: the word “marriage.” (OK, they kept the sacred word “divorce” too, believe it or not! You don’t hear too many people defending the sanctity of divorce, but apparently we’re not allowed that either.)

  3. cunning linguist says

    stop using the phrase “gay marriage”! it’s just marriage, for pete’s sake. don’t give in to the conservative movement’s need to use the word gay as an adjective for everything, thereby shifting the debate. it’s “marriage,” simply put. the media needs to get on this semantic difference because it can stop people in their tracks from engaging in the politics of difference. we as gays should disallow the term “gay marriage” to be used in even the most social of discourse, even with our friends and families. certainly, the media should take heed.