Lawmakers in Vermont have introduced a gay marriage bill.

The bill is sponsored by Representatives Mark Larson (Democrat) and David Zuckerman (Progressive), both from Burlington. A large crowd is expected to gather in Montpelier, Vermont's capital, today for its introduction. The event, sponsored by Vermont Freedom To Marry, begins at 11AM.

Fifty-nine co-sponsors have signed on to the bill, none of which are Republican. But Republican House Leader Patti Komline told the Rutland Herald that she would support the measure.

“I consider it a civil rights issue,” Komline said.

A similar bill is being sponsored by Senator John Campbell in the Senate, but has yet to be formally introduced.

The state's governor, Jim Douglas, does not support gay marriage, but has not indicated he would veto the measure.

Gay activists in Vermont seem fairly confident the bill will pass. Vermont was the first state to offer gay and lesbian couples civil unions in 2000 after a state Supreme Court decision.

Beth Robinson, chairwoman of Vermont Freedom To Marry, told The Washington Blade that he likelihood of passage was “very high.”

Gay activists are actively pushing for gay marriage in the six state New England region. Already Massachusetts and Connecticut offer gay nuptials. The remaining four states – Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine and New Hampshire – will be reviewing gay marriage bills throughout the legislative session.