March 30, 2009
Less Religious New England States Create Same-Sex Marriage Buzz
New England states are weighing same-sex marriage legislation, especially where religious presence may be lacking, according to USA Today analysis.
"A USA TODAY analysis finds that states where the percentage of "nones" - people who say they have no religion - is at or above the national average of 15% are more likely to push expanding the scope of marriage, civil unions or same-sex partner rights," write Cathy Lynn Grossman and Jack Gillum.
Vermont's legislature is expected to vote on a same-sex marriage bill later this week, and the AP outlines other debates going on in the Northeast.
- New Hampshire, which enacted a civil unions law last year, moved a step closer to legalizing gay marriage Thursday when the state House of Representatives voted in favor. The state Senate still must vote, though, and the governor - who signed a civil unions bills last year - opposes it.
- The Vermont Senate has approved a similar measure, but the House has yet to vote. Gov. Jim Douglas vowed Wednesday to veto the bill if it reaches him, spurring a protest that drew about 300 people to the Statehouse on Friday. Protesters say they'll push to get enough votes in the Legislature for a veto override.
- In Maine, a bill to legalize gay marriage has nearly 60 co-sponsors in the Legislature. Gov. John Baldacci, who opposes gay marriage, says he hasn't taken a position on the measure.
Even though is a couple months old, Stateline has a helpful graph showing a state-by-state breakdown.