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The debate on civil unions was acrimonious and deeply polarizing, touching every corner of the state and spurring a prominent popular backlash that began even before the legislation was signed under the slogan Take Back Vermont.

I never, ever thought in my lifetime that I would be trying to convince people that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Netherlands: · Netherlands proper New Zealand: · New Zealand proper Norway Portugal South Africa Spain Sweden United Kingdom: · England and Wales · Scotland · AX and DX, AC*, BAT · GI, GG*, IM, PN United States: · United States proper · GU, MP, PR, VI · some tribal jurisdictions Uruguay Same-sex marriage has been legal in Vermont since September 1, 2009.

Vermont was the first state to introduce civil unions in July 2000, and the first state to introduce same-sex marriage by enacting a statute without being required to do so by a court decision.

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Burlington Kenneth Angell testified against the civil unions bill before a House committee and sent mailings with such headings as "How Would Jesus Vote?