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vt.Buzz ~ a political blog

Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Cliff-hanger gay marriage vote could be Tuesday

You may have heard that the House voted 95-52 last night in favor of same-sex marriage legislation. They vote again this afternoon, although right now they have a huge thirst for debating the 2010 budget bill.

By the way, Republican Rich Westman, who was absent last night, says he will vote for the bill today. He voted against civil unions in 2000, but says the world is a different place now.

This morning, Beth Robinson, leader of the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force, gave Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin the breaking news that even if Vermont passes same-sex marriage into law, it will not be the third state in the country to do so. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously this morning that the state must offer marriage to same-sex couples.

Vermont would still be the first state to enact same-sex marriage without a court order, if this legislation becomes law.

Will that happen? I would say the possibility is hanging by a single thread. Razor thin was the phrase one legislator used as the margin for an override of the governor's promised veto.

We will find out sooner rather than later, as the Senate is expected to concur Monday with changes the House made to the bill, send the bill to the governor, who will be waiting with his veto pen. That puts the bill back in the Senate on Tuesday, where a 2/3 vote for an override is a breeze and then to the House, where a 2/3 vote is a cliff-hanger. We could know by lunchtime Tuesday.

- Terri Hallenbeck

Nice work Richie. Feels good to do the right thing, eh?

Perhaps the world isn't as unfriendly to you as you once thought.
Kudos to Ricky Westman!
Who cares - just put this out of its misery!
This whole dog and pony show is really sad.
It is really, really sad.
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