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National Briefing / Vermont

Hearings on gay marriage

March 17, 2009|Times Wire Reports

More than 200 same-sex- marriage opponents, cheering and wearing buttons that read, "Marriage -- A Mother & Father for Every Child," converged on Montpelier's Statehouse as lawmakers began hearings on a bill that would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. If approved, Vermont would join Massachusetts and Connecticut as the only U.S. states that allow gay marriage.

The measure would replace Vermont's first-in-the-nation civil unions law with one that allows marriage of same-sex partners beginning Sept. 1. Civil unions, which confer some rights similar to marriage, would still be recognized but no longer granted after Sept. 1.

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