Today, VTFreedomToMarry sent out the following:
The time has arrived!
Today Senate leader Peter Shumlin and House Speaker Shap Smith confirmed that they intend to take up, and pass, a bill to ensure equal access to civil marriage. THIS IS IT! The pieces are in place, and it's up to us to make our case!
Sen. Shumlin and Rep. Smith outlined the General Assembly's extensive work to stimulate the economy and create jobs, as well as its groundbreaking legislation to ensure that Vermont has the country's toughest and most thoughtful laws governing sex offenders. Laying out their agenda for the second half of the session, they concluded that the legislature can and should pass a bill ensuring the equal right to marry. The Senate Judiciary Committee will start the work on S.115, "An Act to Protect Religious Freedom and Promote Equality in Civil Marriage," sponsored by Senate leaders Peter Shumlin, John Campbell, and Claire Ayer, on Monday, March 16, when legislators return from the Town Meeting break.
Governor Douglas, a Republican, has said that he "doesn't see the need" for a marriage bill right now considering how well civil unions have worked out, but it remains up for grabs whether he'd sign a marriage bill or not. Stay tuned . . .