Same-Sex Marriage Bill Introduced in Vermont

The bill was sponsored by state Reps. Mark Larson and David Zuckerman of Burlington and is backed by 59 legislators, the AP reports:

Douglas_vermont“A similar bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate sometime this session. But it’s unclear how far the effort will go as legislators grapple with state budget cuts and falling revenues. Zuckerman, a progressive, says the economy is the biggest issue in the Statehouse but says there are other committees that can handle other issues. He says the time has come for Vermont, which passed the civil unions nine years ago, to make gay marriage law.”

Vermont’s Governor Jim Douglas has stated his opposition to same-sex marriage legislation but has refused to indicate what he’d do if such a bill reached his desk. Said Douglas in late November: “I think the current civil union law is sufficient. It accords equality of rights to Vermonters in terms of their relationships and I think we should leave the law as it is. I never indicate what I might do when a bill gets to my desk, but I’ve been quite clear that I don’t support the legislation.””

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  1. says

    I was in Douglas’s office today, along with about 50 other GLB and even T Vermonters (most of the crowd of 300 couldn’t fit in the ceremonial office). Several people spoke eloquently, from a lesbian couple together 43 years to a 16 year old to a UCC minister. He seemed to listen. He also listened when I told him I was chair of the department he majored in at Middlebury and that my partner of 18 years is the brother of a lobbyist he knows well. “Small world,” he said.

    300 people at the statehouse in VT is the equivalent of 18,000 in a state the size of California.

  2. says

    As Kevin said, it was a truly exciting day at the VT State House. Hundreds of LGBT people packed into the building for Visibility Day, and in a state our size, on a work day in winter, that’s a lot of visibility. Now we’ll be lobbying for the bill to come up for a vote and pass by as wide a margin as possible, obviously, and for Douglas not to veto it. Convincing Douglas to let it pass, with our without his signature, will be the trickiest part.

    To be honest, I think out-of-staters calling Douglas’s office would be a mistake. Outside pressure would likely encourage a veto. However, I do recommend going to the VT Freedom to Marry website if you’re interested in how this is shaping up: