No Rush to Altar as Vermont Starts Marrying Gays

Fifth state to legalize same-sex marriage sees little demand
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2009 8:00 AM CDT
Bill Slimback, left, and Bob Sullivan of Whitehall, NY, light a candle during their wedding ceremony at Moose Meadow Lodge in Waterbury, Vt., on Tuesday, September 1, 2009.    (ANDY DUBACK)
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(Newser) – After 17 years together, a couple from upstate New York married at 12:01 this morning—the first same-sex couple to wed in Vermont. Today the Green Mountain State, which gave the US civil unions, becomes the fifth state and fourth in New England to allow gays and lesbians to marry. But as the AP reports, there hasn't been a major rush to the altar; city clerks say that only a handful of licenses have been issued.

In April Vermont became the first state in the union to authorize same-sex marriage via a legislative decree, rather than in response to a court case. Yet while gay couples aren't streaming into Vermont, the state is getting some less welcome visitors: Westboro Baptist Church, the fringe anti-gay group led by Fred Phelps, is picketing in the capital of Montpelier today.