by Rex Wockner
National News Briefs
Fifty-four percent of Vermont voters support opening marriage to same-sex couples while 37 percent oppose it, WPTZ-TV reported March 26.
The figures come from opinion surveys filled out by 7,000 people who took part in Town Meeting Day and reflect an 8-percent jump in support for same-sex marriage over last year’s findings. The survey is not scientific.
In 2000, Vermont became the first U.S. state to enact a civil-union law, granting same-sex couples “all the same benefits, protections and responsibilities under Vermont law, whether they derive from statute, policy, administrative or court rule, common law or any other source of civil law, as are granted to spouses in a marriage.”
Nearly 1,300 Vermont couples and more than 8,000 couples from elsewhere have entered into a Vermont civil union, according to Secretary of State Deborah L. Markowitz.