Why Vermont?     religion, sex & politics in the Green Mountain State

        Vermont may be different from other states in the U.S. in that it has a significantly higher percentage of Congregationalists and others who have not seen weddings as religious, but as civil, covenants.  Conversely, Vermont may have a significantly lower percentage of Roman Catholics and others who see weddings as a religious sacrament.

        From a rough reading, there appear to be three sets of roles of homosexuals in American society; closeted, ghettoed and integrated.  On the northern Plains and in the northern Rockies, there are cruising sites and AIDS services listed in address guides.  In the more popular states, there are cruising sites, AIDS services, bars and professionals listed for specific neighborhoods.  In Vermont, however, there are relatively few cruising sites and few bars, but many professionals not limited to specific neighborhoods.

        Vermont, and to a lesser extent Minnesota, has a reputation of populist and independent politics.  For a recent example, consider Sen. Jim Jeffords.  Does this political difference exist in a measurable way?

        Considering the mountainous terrain, it can be relatively difficult to move in Vermont.  Mountains usually contain relatively isolated and specific culture groups.  Do the Green Mountains lead to a unique culture in Vermont?  Using a ratio of roads per mile of border, is Vermont less connected to the rest of the U.S.?  Considering recent Ontario and Quebec civil recognition of same sex couples, is Vermont more Canadian in politics and sexual integration?

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