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The bill has come under fire from Vermont Governor Jim Douglas who has vowed to veto the legislation if it passes. Douglas's statements have drawn both praise and condemnation:
"I believe our civil union law serves Vermont well, and I would support Congressional action to extend those benefits at the Federal level to states that recognize same-sex unions. But like President Obama and other leaders on both sides of the aisle, I believe that marriage should remain between a man and a woman."
On "The Takeaway," Ross Sneyd, news editor with Vermont Public Radio, has the details.
Vermont made same-sex unions legal in 2000, but advocates want to legalize same-sex marriage according to Sneyd: "And so Vermont is having a debate right now about whether to take that final step. There are ... two states that already authorize this -- Massachusetts and Connecticut -- Vermont would be the first state where the legislature actually initiated this if it becomes law. California did this in 2005, but Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it. We have that same veto threat here but there is an effort to override the veto if it comes to that."
Sneyd compares the current debate with the one in 2000: "This year it's been a much quieter debate. There was a big public hearing a few weeks ago, about a thousand people turned out -- that was maybe a third of the number of people who showed up for a pair of public hearings in 2000 ... but there's still a lot of controversy. There have been a number of outside groups who have come in and tried to persuade legislators to vote one way or the other. There's also been a sense that this is going to go through, that because there are these big majorities of Democrats in the House and Senate that it will approved fairly easily. And so it has become really a battle for the vote of one man, which is Jim Douglas ..."
"The Takeaway" is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what’s ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.