Wednesday, July 25, 2007

VT legislature sets up commision to test gay marriage

Legislative commission to test waters on gay marriage

July 25, 2007
Legislative leaders announced this morning that they have formed a commission to study how Vermonters feel about gay marriage.

House Speaker Gaye Symington and Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin said the commission will hold six meetings across the state and report back to the Legislature by the end of the April 2008.

“It is time to ask whether it is in Vermont’s interest to continue to maintain a separate legal status for same-sex couples,” Symington said.

Vermont in 2000 became the first state to establish civil unions, allowing same-sex couples the same rights and privileges as heterosexual married couples. Since then, others states have followed suit and Massachusetts has legalized same-sex marriage.

Former Rep. Tom Little of Shelburne, who chaired the House Judiciary Committee that created civil unions, will chair the 10-member commission

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