The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5-0 today to recommend that Vermont allow same-sex couples to marry.
The outcome wasn't in doubt, but the unanimity was a surprise.
Sen. Kevin Mullin
, put his political future on the line by voting to recommend the change in the marriage statute -- but not until he tried to delay the vote for a year so a non-binding referendum could be held next Town Meeting Day.Mullin
said many in the public feel they haven't been heard on the question.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Richard Sears, D-Bennington
, opposed the referendum, saying it would invite oodles of out-of-state money and media buys. Think California, he said.
Steve Cable, one of the most outspoken opponents to the change, promised political consequences, particularly for Mullin
. "I know one senator who will pay the price, he said after the vote.
Lawmakers know there could be political consequences from this vote. "That comes with the territory being the Legislature," Sears said after the vote.
Advocates of the change were cautiously optimistic. A bigger test will come Monday or Tuesday when the full Senate considers the bill. I assume someone will call for a roll call to get all 30 on the record.
I expect some among the 30 will be losing sleep this weekend and probably all will receive lots of e-mail and phone calls.
-- Nancy Remsen