Same-sex marriage bill approved by Senate

Same-sex marriage bill approved by SenateThe Vermont State Senate approved the same-sex marriage bill this Monday, voting 26 to 4 in favor, moving it one step closer to becoming law.The bill will now move to the House Judiciary Committee where testimony is expected to begin today.The democratically-controlled House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill, although Vermont Governor Jim Douglas has not stated whether or not he will veto the legislation.”I’ve made my position quite clear that I believe marriage is, and ought to remain, the union of a man and a woman, that our civil unions law affords equality of opportunities and rights under state law and that that should suffice,” Douglas said.The bill would replace civil unions after Sept. 1, 2009, meaning that civil unions would no longer be granted.Additionally, clergy would be under no legal obligation to ordain same-sex marriage if their faith does not allow it.If approved, Vermont would be the third state after Connecticut and Massachusetts to allow marriage between members of the same sex.