is marriage equality on the horizon for Vermont?

We’ve been speculating for some time about which state will be the
next Massachusetts and recognize same-sex marriage. Of course,
civil unions continue to crop up here and there, and Massachusetts’
same-sex marriages are recognized in Rhode Island and now New
Mexico. Nonetheless, Massachusetts is still the only state that
offers full marriage equality to its citizens.

So who is next? Vermont, back in 2000, became the first state to
offer civil unions. Now, it appears that they are exploring
same-sex marriage. Today,
The Burlington Free Press
is reporting:

Legislative leaders announced this morning that they
have formed a commission to study how Vermonters feel about gay

House Speaker Gaye Symington and Senate President Pro Tem Peter
Shumlin said the commission will hold six meetings across the state
and report back to the Legislature by the end of the April

“It is time to ask whether it is in Vermont’s interest to
continue to maintain a separate legal status for same-sex
couples,” Symington said.

Though marriage equality may be on the horizon for Vermonters, it’s
certainly a distant horizon. With an April 2008 report date, it
won’t be happening anytime soon. In the meantime, we’re doing more
than keeping our fingers crossed. We’ll continue to work on the
ground changing hearts and minds, building support for equality and
making safer environments for our families.