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(NECN: Anya Huneke) - Vermont could become the third state in the country to legalize gay marriage. Supporters are hoping to approve a same sex marriage bill by the summertime. All this week, those on both sides of the issue are getting their say at the State House in Montpelier. Nine years after Vermont became the first state to enact civil union legislation, some lawmakers hope to make history again as debate begins on whether to legalize same-sex marriage. It has been legalized in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and briefly California. All as a result of court decisions. Vermont would be the first state to recognize the unions legislatively. On day one of a week long hearing at the state house in Montpelier Monday. The Senate judiciary committee took testimony on both sides of the issue- as an overflow crowd tried to listen in. Leading up to the hearing, same-sex marriage proponents have been pushing hard for the bill's passage. At different events last week, representatives from the mental health, religious, and legal communities made public their support for this legislation." But gay marriage opponents were out in force Monday, displaying - on stickers and pins - their determination to preserve traditional marriage. Some have criticized legislative leaders for making same-sex marriage a priority in this session... With other - especially economic - issues on the table. But for civil union partners Edna Martineau and Cynthia Meigs, this is an issue that cannot wait. Same-sex marriage seems to have broad support among Vermont legislators, but does not have the support of Governor Jim Douglas. And other opponents say the issue should ultimately be before not lawmakers, but voters, who they believe would show- Vermont is not ready for this kind of change.