Proponents call it a day more than ten years in the making - the day Vermont lawmakers voted to legalize same-sex marriage - but even after ten years, the state needs a bit more time to make the law a reality. Senate bill 115 does not take effect until the first day of September.
"Well actually I think it was first put at September first because of some initial concerns the Department of Health had in terms of implementation," explains Rep. Bill Lippert, D-Hinesburg.
The state will have five months to prepare new marriage license applications, which will now offer applicants the choice of being the choice of bride, groom, or spouse.
"Really most of the rest of the application will be very familiar to anyone who's seen a marriage license in Vermont," says Lippert.
The license may look familiar, but for soon-to-be-wed couples, the process is not. Michael and Jace Sheppard were joined in a civil union last summer. Now they want to get married and have some questions.
"Yeah I guess, what's the first step?" wonders Michael. "I would imagine there's an application involved."
"Yeah we know we have to get a new license and register for a new license but I'm not familiar whether or not it automatically transfers for the civil union, I'm pretty sure it doesn't," adds Jace.
Couples with civil unions will not automatically be married once the new law takes effect, nor do they have to get married. Those who want a marriage will have to apply for a license with their Town Clerk and have a ceremony. They do not have to dissolve their civil union, but Rep. Lippert says some may choose to.
"This would be to clarify their legal status," he says.
It may seem like a daunting process, but the Sheppards say it is well worth it.
"Now we're going to have to pay for a lawyer and go through all the B.S. just to get that dissolved, that sort of annoys me," says Jace. "But I would pay twice, whatever it takes to get the marriage license knowing that it's going to the state of Vermont that supported us, and to finally have it done between the two of us."
After September first same-sex couples will be allowed to get married, but they can no longer get civil unions. However, the state will still recognized civil unions that have already been performed.
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:53:41 GMT
When the Wild Center in Tupper Lake was looking at maple education programs, they hit a bit of a snag. "I took a survey of the 31 acres here at the museum and we only had one maple tree on the property,"More >>
The Community Maple program has been going for three years now, allowing people to take the sap from their backyard and learn how to turn it into syrup.
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:44:12 GMT
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March! PANCAKE BREAKFAST This year is the 20th annual Franklin Fire Dept. Pancake breakfast at the Franklin Central School. They serve more than 2,000More >>
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March!More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 8:08 AM EDT2014-03-09 12:08:24 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>