VT Hearings to start March 16 on gay marriage
Posted on March 8, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
BENNINGTON — Legislative leaders said Thursday that they will move quickly to pass gay marriage legislation, beginning hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 16 — the day the Legislature reconvenes following the Town Meeting break.
The announcement came at a Statehouse press conference hosted by Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin, D-Windham, and House Speaker Shap Smith, D-Morristown, as they outlined an aggressive agenda for the remainder of the legislative session.
Shumlin, who served as Senate president in 2000, when Vermont became the first state to pass civil union legislation, said Thursday he was proud of the state at the time for taking such a momentous step. But his “pride has given way to uneasiness,” he said, as other states have since bypassed Vermont and have allowed gay marriage.
“Vermont is no longer alone, and we’re no longer leading. Here in Vermont, people’s fears in connection with the civil union law have proven unfounded,” he said. “Nobody was harmed, some families enjoy a little more security, and our state is a better place for having taken that step.”
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