Vermont House passes marriage equality bill – Governor will veto

The Vermont House passed a same-sex marriage bill by 95-52, which is not enough of a margin to override a veto promised by the governor.

The vote came late in the day after five hours of debate before a crowded chamber, said the group Vermont Freedom To Marry, in a posting on its website.

“It’s a testament to the power of telling our stories,” said Beth Robinson, a spokeswoman for the group. “We know we’ve got more work to do in the run-up to the override vote.”

Last week, the bill passed the Senate 26-4.

A final House vote is slated for Friday, when the bill is to be sent back to the Senate for approval of changes in the legislation sought by the House, and then to the desk of Gov. James Douglas, whose threatened veto could be overridden by a two-thirds vote.

Image: KAREN PIKE via Vermont Freedom to Marry

Gay marriage bill introduced in Vermont

The AP reports that Vermont lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow gay marriage in the state that created civil unions for same-sex couples.

The bill, sponsored by state Reps. Mark Larson and David Zuckerman of Burlington, was introduced Friday, with the backing of 59 legislators.

A similar bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate sometime this session.

But it’s unclear how far the effort will go as legislators grapple with state budget cuts and falling revenues.

Zuckerman, a progressive, says the economy is the biggest issue in the Statehouse but says there are other committees that can handle other issues. He says the time has come for Vermont, which passed the civil unions nine years ago, to make gay marriage law.