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March 20, 2009


UPDATE 3/24/09...
365gay.com reported this morning that the Vermont Senate just passed the same-sex marriage bill by a vote of 26-4. This overwhelming majority vote means that the bill will now move to the House where it is also expected to pass.

Unfortunately, Republican Governor James Douglas has already chastised the legislature for spending time on the bill when it should be focused on the economy. He said that he believes the civil union law is sufficient for same-sex couples - even though that's been proven not to be the case. In fact, as I outlined in my first article, testimony by mental health experts, social workers and clergy have all agreed that allowing gay couples to marry validates their relationships, could reduce discrimination and increases benefits for the families.

There is, however, a glimmer of hope since Governor Douglas has not said outright that he intends to veto this bill. Hopefully, the strong legislative support it has received and the publicity it has garnered will prove to be enough for him to change his mind and sign it.

I'll keep you posted.


Last Friday I reported on the Gay Marriage bill being debated in Vermont's Senate Judiciary Committee.

I ended my report on a very hopeful note. I believed that the strong testimonies of mental health experts and clergy, who all countered the religious right's argument that same-sex marriage is detrimental to children by exposing their lies and distortions of facts, would help get the bill out of committee and passed by the full senate.

Well, my hopes were not only realized but surpassed. This morning Queers United and Pink News (out of the U.K.) both reported that the bill was passed unanimously by a reassuring vote of 5-0.

The full senate is scheduled to vote on the bill next Monday, March 23rd at 3:00pm.

QU is requesting that since this is the last opportunity to express your support, please - even if you have done so in the past - call and/or email your state senator and urge him or her to vote in favor of this bill.

If you live in Vermont, you can get the email address and phone number of your representative by going to: http://www.vtfreetomarry.org/senate.html.

As I reported last Friday, in 2000 Vermont became the first state to pass civil unions. Now, if passed (which I fully expect to happen), Vermont will join Massachusetts and Connecticut and become the third state to legally recognize gay marriages.


Anonymous said...

The Judiciary Committee's vote is significant in that the Rutland County (a notoriously conservative area of the state) senator, Kevin Mullin (R), voted for moving the bill to the full Senate and has indicated he will vote for passage. Mullin did try to add an amendment that would have put a non-binding vote on the fall ballot but that's going nowhere. No one here is in the mood for the fundie's attempt at creating a shadow constitutional requirement that doesn't exist.

S.115 should pass on Monday.

Steve Krotz said...

Thanks for the additional info. It's really great to hear that the radical religious groups were unsuccessful and that Senator Mullin's attempt for a ballot measure seems to be dying from lack of interest.

He does deserve kudos for voting to move the bill out of committee and making it unanimous vote.

Thanks again.

Steve Krotz said...

I have to add, after reading the Rutland Herald article you provided the link to, that Senator Mullin was the ONLY vote for his ballot measure proposal.

But, I also have to give Sen. Mullin a lot of credit for voting for the bill knowing that he was going against an anti-gay marriage group in his own conservative district.

He also deserves even more credit for making the following statement to the Herald:

“I believe our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in Vermont would find much greater comfort to know that their friends, neighbors and families also agree that allowing same-sex couples to marry is a good idea.”

Good for him!