MONDAY
March 20, 2000
volume 11, no. 56
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

VERMONT HOUSE PASSES SAME-SEX UNION BILL

    MONTPELIER (CWNews.com) - The Vermont House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly voted to allow same-sex civil unions, granting all the benefits of marriage without using the name.

    The House voted 76-69 to pass the widest-reaching law on same-sex unions of any state in the US. The state Senate is prepared to pass a similar bill, and Gov. Howard Dean has said he will sign it. The Legislature was ordered to consider the issue by the state Supreme Court in December that same-sex couples were being unconstitutionally denied the benefits of marriage.

    Although the bill contained an amendment specifically stating that marriage is between a man and woman -- a measure to protect other states from having to recognize the unions -- pro-family groups said the new law will effectively set up same-sex marriage. "If it looks like marriage and smells like marriage, then it is marriage -- regardless of how much syrupy language is used," said Janet Parshall of the Family Research Council.

    "This bill is not about the civil rights of a minority," Bishop Kenneth Angell of Burlington said. "This bill is about a minority imposing their concept of morality upon the morality of the majority."

    Same-sex couples will be able to apply for a license from town clerks and have their unions certified by a justice of the peace, judge, or member of the clergy. They would then be entitled to all the same state benefits as married couples, including inheritance, insurance, medical decisions, and taxes. However, the federal government would not recognize the unions and would thus exclude them from such benefits as joint federal tax filings.

          

March 20, 2000
volume 11, no. 56
NEWS & VIEWS

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