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The Nation | IN BRIEF / VERMONT

Court Asked to Hear Suit Over Bets on Union Law

November 30, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

Vermont's Supreme Court was asked to decide whether wagering among 14 lawmakers about the outcome of last year's debate over civil unions should invalidate the law.

Town clerks, legislators and taxpayers are challenging the law, which gives gay couples the closest thing in the United States to marriage. The state attorney general's office argues they have no case.

The plaintiffs' lawyer said the 14 state House members who threw $1 each into a pot had a stake in the outcome of the vote, a violation of House rules. If those 14 lawmakers had been disqualified, the bill would have died. It passed, 76 to 69.

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