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Lawmakers: Marriage Equality Will Pass in Vermont This Session

Vermont lawmakers plan to swiftly move a marriage equality bill through the legislature and plan to pass it this legislative session. Sen. Peter Shumlin, D-Vt. President Pro Tem. and Rep. Shap Smith, D-Vt believe the bill will pass this session.

DouglasLawmakers say they'll take up the measure in a week and a half. 

 Governor Jim Douglas has said he's opposed to same-sex marriage legislation but has refused to say what he'll do if such a bill comes to his desk.

Lawmakers feel confident that he'll let the bill become law without his signature or veto.

A bill was introduced in the House in early February, backed by 59 legislators.

Vermont WCAX reports: "The bill would grant same-sex couples the right to marry in Vermont. 'We know that this issue could either be one that unifies or one that divides us and we want to ensure it's one that unifies us,' Shumlin said. Lawmakers know well how this could be a divisive issue. When civil unions were legalized back in 2000 it sparked protests and the Take Back Vermont movement. Opponents argued traditional marriage was at stake. Voters retaliated. And several lawmakers lost their seats that election year. 'The world has changed a lot since 2000,' said Beth Robinson, an advocate of gay marriage. Gay marriage advocates say civil unions were so controversial because Vermont was the first in the nation to legalize them."

Watch WCAX's report (warning: it's on autoplay), as well as one of Vermont Freedom to Marry's new ads, AFTER THE JUMP...

Freedom to Marry spot:

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Comments

  1. Good for Vermont! They continue to be the trend setter in all of this.
    Unfortunately for us in California now our legislature cannot pass a Marriage Bill. The only avenue for us now is to repeal Article 1, Section 7.5 - after yesterday's arguments it appears highly unlikely that the Supremes will take action against it. As far as the second part of the argument which is keeping existing gay marriages valid, I think that they are safe, and I think that will be a unanimous decision. But, that overall means very little. They will be seen as "one-offs" by the vast majority of the population. Most people won't believe they are really married - even though they "technically" are - it is a very hollow win.

    Posted by: Mike | Mar 6, 2009 8:56:09 AM


  2. KUDOS to the VT Marriage Equality campaign if anyone there is reading this!

    I am in Canada but get the Vermont station, and they have been running a great ad, in heavy rotation, in PRIME TIME, with quotes showing that all major VT newspapers are in favor of marriage equality. I saw it several times last night between 8 and 10pm.

    WELL DONE!

    Posted by: Strepsi | Mar 6, 2009 9:36:08 AM


  3. The dam is starting to crack ....

    Posted by: freddy | Mar 6, 2009 9:43:42 AM


  4. I am SO proud of my VT legislators. It would have been easy for them to use the dismal economy as an excuse not to take on this bill this session, but they are doing the right thing. I'm also proud of Vermont Freedom to Marry for their smart grassroots efforts over the past 8 years to educate people why marriage (as opposed to just CUs) makes a difference. The VT Freedom to Marry ads are simple and direct--unlike the recent CA ad, they even mention the word marriage! Beth Robinson, the spokesperson for our side in the WCAX clip, is probably one of the most articulate people on the planet. Now, it looks like it will come down to whether the governor will veto or not. His main argument against the bill has been that it's a divisive distraction for the legislature, but once it's passed that argument evaporates, and vetoing it means it will only return next year, which would be a distraction. So, fingers crossed here.

    On a side note, I've always found the WCAX reporter, Darren Perron, cute as a button.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 6, 2009 12:02:32 PM


  5. Look at that commercial working it's magic! An openly gay devoted couple not screaming about equality, not making it a civil rights issue, but instead making it about bringing together 2 people in love. There is so much to be learnt from this.

    Posted by: Donut | Mar 6, 2009 12:33:46 PM


  6. As a California resident poised to move out of the state if my marriage is annulled in the next 90 days, Vermont with its gay marriage and its Brazilian steakhouse sounds scrumptious!

    Posted by: Bruno | Mar 6, 2009 6:32:08 PM


  7. Hate to be, well, crabby but . . . . professor crabby is a resident of the green mountain state and he will believe it when he sees it—Jim Douglas is a nasty piece of work and capable of much worse than vetoing this –a year or so back he vetoed a trans bill of rights (or was it trans anti-violence?) anyway, that bill basically had support from everyone—really not too controversial –out of right field he vetoes the bill –very mean-spirited which is exactly what this prick is -yet he comes off as Mr. Rodgers to those who haven’t lived with him–besides Vermont loves nothing more than an incumbent –so he is basically safe until he decides he wants to be president of Middlebury ---he can do what he wants and he may well see more political capital gained in vetoing this bill. btw, those of you who do not live here should look beyond the Vermont pr campaign-- this is a center right state –Douglas and his far right light gov dubie are living proof. New Hampshire, by any measure, is more progressive than Vermont—we just have better branding.

    Posted by: professor crabby ph.d | Mar 6, 2009 8:31:21 PM


  8. Professor Crabby, do you really live in VT? Because I've lived here all my life and, trust me, VT is and has always been more progressive than NH, regardless of our current prick governor. There are conservative pockets, yes, but the liberal, live and let live PR is true. We weren't the first to enact CUs by accident. We are a little schizo when it comes to our elected officials, I grant you--how could the same people who elect Douglas also elect Bernie Sanders? Douglas didn't get my vote obviously, but some people mysteriously like him.

    He can veto this bill, and he might. But, since his main reason for objecting to it was that it was wasting the legislature's time, that reason falls apart once the bill has passed. If he vetoes it, he'll be the one wasting time next session, when it will inevitably reemerge. It's even possible, tho hardly assured, that it has a veto-proof majority. Many think he'll let it pass without his signature, we'll see.

    Whatever happens, our legislature deserves much credit for putting this bill forward with so many co-sponsors. I'm optimistic, in part because our Freedom to Marry has been highly effective over the past years in paving the way for this. A majority of the public supports marriage equality. And, unlike in CA, once it's passed, it's a done deal.

    On a side note, Douglas will become president of Middlebury over my boyfriend's and a lot of other Midd professors' dead bodies--don't see that happening any time soon! Someone's PR team invented that theory.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 6, 2009 9:07:02 PM


  9. The argument that Gay marriage creates a permanent class of children without a father or mother thereby depriving a child of a full family is false. "Traditional" divorce does that.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Mar 7, 2009 11:29:26 AM


  10. Ernie, I do live in Vermont, just not in the rarified world of Middlebury. You may have been born in this northern outpost of Appalachia -- let me guess, Chittenden County—and therefore, like a lot of native Vermonters, you think this gives you some sort of special right to interpret all things Vermont. Despite your Vermont pedigree, I don’t think you know too much about this state and the people who live here- otherwise you wouldn’t be spouting that absurd Vermont PR malarkey—. It occurs to me you might actually believe all that Ben and Jerry’s ad campaign business, either that or the Vermont you see out of your window as you and your boyfriend tool up route 7 through Ferrisburg to Burlington and on up to Montreal (such a fabulous life you live Ernie M with your Boyfriend on the faculty of Middlebury—so impressive, yawn). You know nothing about the people that matter to Douglas and have (re)elected him four times, he does not care about you because your idea of Vermont is Burlington, Brattleboro, Middlebury and Montpelier. When was the last time you were in Orange or Caledonia County? Have you ever been there? That Vermont thinks we have plenty too many rights as it is and they are Douglas’s voters not you and me. They matter to him. He’ll have them in mind when he vetoes this bill. I’ve lived here for ten years –and I bet you are wrong about Douglas and this veto—as wrong as you are about New Hampshire—which has more democrats elected (and fewer hillbilly residents) than Vermont --

    Posted by: professor crabby ph.d | Mar 8, 2009 10:57:38 PM


  11. Whoa, I guess Professor Creepy Stalking Troll would be more appropriate. Sorry to burst your presumptuous bubble, but I didn't grow up in a "rarefied" part of VT and know Orange and Caledonia Counties and their people very well. I'm guessing my 40+ years in VT gives me more insight than your 10, but who cares? I'm not sure why you're living in a state you hate so much, or why you have such animosity towards fellow gay VTers--you are gay, right?--but that has nothing to do with the equality bill before the VT legislature, the subject of this thread. Governor Douglas (who has a lot less connection to the "real" VT than I do) may veto the bill with the Take Back VTers in mind, but they're a minority (most straight VTers don't care about this one way or the other), and he'd be foolish to do so. Meanwhile, maybe progressive NH is more your style.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 9, 2009 10:59:05 AM


  12. Ernie, you sure do seem to spend a lot of time on TR— odd, you link to your pretentious, navel gazing blog for all the world to learn much too much about your trivial life –and then accuse people of being a troll for gleaning the most basic information out of the dreary, drek and poorly done derivative “art” that bloats ernie’sboringlife.com. Sorry if I hit a nerve EM –actually, probably not hard to do to a shallow self-absorbed oldish queen with way too much time on his hands –respond away with more questions and little substance I, unlike you, have better things than to respond again—instead of responding, here is an idea–go upload another one of your art photos to your blog and call yourself creative.

    Posted by: professor crabby ph.d | Mar 9, 2009 10:55:42 PM



  13. Big hugs to Ernie - you're right on!

    And Mr. Crabs - New Hampshire is like Vermont, except upside down and to the right.

    Posted by: Drew | Mar 10, 2009 1:11:11 AM


  14. Wow, Professor Crabby, the anonymous (i.e. cowardly) misdirected hatred and personal attacks are bizarre. There's an easy solution for anyone who doesn't like my blog--don't visit it!

    I think we can agree that Gov. Douglas is bad for Vermont and being the first state to grant civil marriage equality through the legislature would be good for VT. I hope it happens this year. If it doesn't, I'll do what I can to make it happen next year, or the year after that. Can we move on?

    Good, I can get back to my pretentious blogging now.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 10, 2009 10:29:32 AM


  15. Reading the comments at 7am. Coffee brewing.

    Professor Crabby's comments sound "elist" and surely lives up to his moniker.

    Posted by: Jim/Charlotte | Mar 14, 2009 7:02:12 AM


  16. Told you it was early, "elitist"

    Posted by: Jim/Charlotte | Mar 14, 2009 7:05:10 AM


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