Vermont governor Jim
Douglas announced on Wednesday afternoon that he will
veto a marriage-equality bill currently making its
way through the state legislature, despite a 26-4 win
in the senate earlier this week.
The house judiciary
committee is scheduled to evaluate the bill through a week of
Since its initial
introduction to the house in January by Rep. Mark Larson, with
the backing of 59 other representatives, the governor has said
that he would not sign the bill if it reached his desk.
Douglas, a Republican, said that the legislature should be more
focused on the state economy.
The bill could still
become law without the governor's signature, but if
Douglas uses the veto, a
two-thirds vote in each chamber would be required for
a legislative override.
Vermont was the first
state in the country to grant civil unions to gay and lesbian
couples in 2000. However, a commission of legislators has
affirmed that civil unions fall short of marriage equality, now
offered in neighboring states Massachusetts and