Vermont lawmakers consider gay marriage. Already legalized civil unions could be the first step toward full marriage equality.

Vermont House and Senate members want to ask citizens if the Legislature should allow same-sex couples to marry.

A 10-member commission has been created to hold public hearings on the subject. The group is scheduled to complete its study by the end of April 2008 and report to the Legislature.

House Speaker Gaye Symington said, “I think many people saw civil unions as a first step. I think for many Vermonters the question has been when, not so much as whether, we would eventually recognize same-sex union through marriage.”

Vermont’s Republican governor said that he believes the civil union law is sufficient to protect the rights of same-sex couples.

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