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Vermont Rep: It's
Time to Introduce Marriage Equality

Vermont Rep: It's
Time to Introduce Marriage Equality

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Vermont may be the third state in New England to ring in marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Vermont may be the fourth state, and the third in New England, to ring in marriage equality for same-sex couples. Representatives Mark Larson and David Zuckerman introduced the bill on Friday with the backing of 59 other members, according to the Rutland Herald. While none of the cosponsors are Republicans, the vote is expected to garner some of the 48 right-wing representatives.

"It seemed like the right convergence of circumstances," Larson said to the Herald. "It's time."

In November, state senator John Campbell said that he would introduce a marriage-equality bill to the senate when it returned in January. Campbell, the senate majority leader, said that the bill wouldn't likely go far unless it were supported by Gov. Jim Douglas, a Republican. Douglas says he would rather the legislature concentrate on fiscal concerns.

Gay and lesbian couples have had civil-union rights in Vermont since 2000. A commission of legislative leaders formed in April to discuss whether the state should allow same-sex couples to marry. Though the panel concluded that instituting same-sex marriage would be positive for the state, it stopped short of suggesting that the state grant same-sex marriage. Recommending same-sex marriage "would undercut the purpose and usefulness of [the commission's] work and [the] report," the April 21 report said.

Currently only Massachusetts and Connecticut offer marriage to all couples. New York also currently recognizes marriages performed outside of the state at the direct order of Gov. David Paterson in 2008. California's supreme court ruling allowing same-sex marriage was overturned in the November election. The court will hear arguments next month on the constitutionality of Proposition 8. (Michelle Garcia, Advocate.com)

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