Vermont lawmakers will once again be looking at the idea of allowing gay couples to marry. Senator John Campbell says he plans to introduce a bill in January that legalizes same-sex marriage.
The bill Senator Campbell plans to introduce is not a new one. He presented the same one last legislative session, which lead to the creation of the Vermont Commission on Family Recognition and Protection. The commission held eight hearings across the state in 2007, and the early part of 2008, and ultimately submitted a report to lawmakers that said civil unions fall short of establishing equal rights and protections of legal marriage. Senator Campbell served on that commission and says he was moved by the testimony he heard.
Campbell says he hopes his bill gets addressed during the next session but knows that the state also has some other major issues to tackle.
"It's our duty to prioritize," he said. "Same thing with an emergency room, we have to triage the issues right now there is a very very important issue and that is the fact that this economy is bleeding, we need to stop that bleeding. So then we look to other issues. This is one of hundreds of bills that will be introduced come January."
The fate of Campbell's bill will ultimately rest in the hands of Governor Douglas. He does not support gay marriage, but has not said whether he would veto such a bill.
If it does become law, Vermont would be the third state to allow same-sex marriages, joining Massachusetts and Connecticut. California allowed same-sex marriages this year but voters recently passed Proposition 8, which creates a ban on gay marriage.