Vermont's gay marriage law is set to go into effect on Tuesday, September 1st. Supporters of same-sex marriage already are gearing up for what promises to be an emotional week.
Preparations were under way for a celebration on Sunday, two days before gay marriage becomes legal in Vermont. Willie Docto heads the Vermont Gay Tourism Association. He says over time, it will boost Vermont tourism. But don't expect a large number of gay marriages right away. "A lot of people can't take off on Tuesday to get married," he said. "It's not a weekend, it's not a holiday. So there's practical reasons why people aren't getting married on September first. I think expectations are too high for that one day."
Many gays and lesbians felt that civil unions, first approved in 2000, did not amount to full equality, even though civil unions were a major breakthrough for them. But the question arises, why are there not nearly as many marriages planned among gays and lesbians as there were civil unions nearly ten years ago?
The Associated Press surveyed several town clerks and found only a handful of licenses have been issued for gay marriages in the month of September, nothing like the rush seen around civil unions in 2000. But gay marriage advocates say there's an easy explanation for that.
Greg Trulson, a Duxbury Justice of the Peace who says he has several gay marriages lined up, said, "What I have found, that a lot of the gay marriages that I'm officiating now starting after September first are other civil unions that I have officiated in the past. And they're coming back to get married -- and what we're finding is they're coming back on the day of their civil union, to keep the same day for their marriage."
Moreover, several other states have gay marriage, and so Vermont doesn't hold a monopoly on it.
And so any marriages that ensue from Vermont's new law will likely be spread out over time -- starting with a first ceremony right after midnight, on Tuesday, September first.
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