AS PASSED BY HOUSE AND SENATE S.115
An act relating to civil marriage
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
This act may be referred to and cited as “An Act to Protect Religious Freedom and Recognize Equality in Civil Marriage.”
The purpose of this act is to recognize legal equality in the civil marriage laws and to protect the religious freedom of clergy and religious societies authorized to solemnize civil marriages.
No person shall marry his or her parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, sibling’s child, or parent’s sibling.
Marriages contracted while either party
has a living spouse or a living party to a civil union is legally married or joined in civil union to a living person other than the party to that marriage shall be void.
Marriage is the legally recognized union of
one man and one woman two people. When used in this chapter or in any other statute, the word “marriage” shall mean a civil marriage. Terms relating to the marital relationship or familial relationships shall be construed consistently with this section for all purposes throughout the law, whether in the context of statute, administrative or court rule, policy, common law, or any other source of civil law.
(2) Be of the same sex
and therefore excluded from the marriage laws of this state.
(a)(1) Upon application in a form prescribed by the department, a town clerk shall issue to a person a civil marriage license in the form prescribed by the department and shall enter thereon the names of the parties to the proposed marriage, fill out the form as far as practicable and retain in the clerk’s office a copy thereof.
(2) The department shall prescribe forms that allow each party to a marriage to be designated “bride,” “groom,” or “spouse,” as he or she chooses, and the application shall be in substantially the following form: …
Sec. 8. 18 V.S.A. § 5142 is amended to read:
§ 5142. RESTRICTIONS AS TO MINORS AND INCOMPETENT PERSONS
A clerk shall not issue a marriage license when either party to the intended marriage is:
(1) A person who has not attained
his majority without the consent in writing of one of the parents if there is one competent to act; or the guardian of such minor;
(a) Except as herein provided, societies shall be governed by this chapter and shall be exempt from all other provisions of the insurance laws of this state, not only in governmental relations with the state, but for every other purpose. No law hereafter enacted shall apply to them, unless they be expressly designated therein.
(b)The civil marriage laws shall not be construed to affect the ability of a society to determine the admission of its members as provided in section 4464 of this title, or to determine the scope of beneficiaries in accordance with section 4477 of this title, and shall not require a society that has been established and is operating for charitable and educational purposes and which is operated, supervised, or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization to provide insurance benefits to any person if to do so would violate the society’s free exercise of religion, as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of The United States or by Chapter I, Article 3 of the Constitution of the State of Vermont
(l) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges to an individual if the request for such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges is related to the solemnization of a marriage or celebration of a marriage. Any refusal to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges in accordance with this subsection shall not create any civil claim or cause of action. This subsection shall not be construed to limit a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization from selectively providing services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges to some individuals with respect to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage but not to others.
(7) § 5165 (civil union license required for certification; failure to return).
The staff of the legislative council, in its statutory revision capacity, is authorized and directed to make such amendments to the Vermont Statutes Annotated as are necessary to effect the purpose of this act, including, where applicable, substituting the words “civil marriage” for the word “marriage.” Such changes shall be made when new legislation is proposed, or there is a republication of a volume of the Vermont Statutes Annotated.
This act shall take effect September 1, 2009.