Gay Marriage | News | Vermont

Vermont Gov Douglas Same-Sex Marriage Veto Statement - Video


I've posted video AFTER THE JUMP of Vermont Governor Jim Douglas' press conference yesterday where he announced he would veto the marriage equality bill making its way through the state legislature (it passed the state senate and it's currently in the House) if it reaches his desk.

The video includes his statement and a brief Q&A. I've also posted new coverage from local news station WPTZ and a video from activist Sean Chapin.

Vermont Freedom to Marry is calling for a rally tomorrow morning at the Vermont statehouse beginning at 8:45 am. They write: "We need to thank the Legislators for their leadership and to URGE Gov. Douglas to change his mind. The Governor has a Legislative Open Door from 9am-9:30am."

Douglas can be contacted here.

Watch the videos, AFTER THE JUMP...

Below, a report from Vermont's WPTZ and Sean Chapin's video:

Douglas' phone information is Ph:802 828-3333 (toll-free in VT only: 800 649-6825). For a list of Vermont House Judiciary Committee members, go to Vermont Freedom to Marry.

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  1. Can he really do that?!

    Posted by: ioni | Mar 26, 2009 10:09:10 AM

  2. How did Jim Douglas get elected? I lived in Vermont and it was a pretty liberal place.

    Posted by: This Hot Mess | Mar 26, 2009 10:12:24 AM

  3. If people really want to help, send a donation to Vermont Freedom to Marry:

    Their strategies have gotten us this far, and they have ways to deal with this, too.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Mar 26, 2009 10:13:49 AM

  4. Both major state papers had editorials today blasting Douglas:

    Burlington Free Press:

    Rutland Herald / Times Argus:

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Mar 26, 2009 10:21:09 AM

  5. At least the VT editorial pages (Burlington Free Press, Rutland Herald, for example) are exposing the ridiculousness of Douglas's claim that he announced his intention to veto to avoid further distraction. Like dropping a political bombshell just as the House is about to take up the issue isn't a distraction! Since he seems to have no real convictions about the marriage bill (he's never clearly articulated why he is against allowing gay couples to marry), his move is purely political, and the editorial pages immediately recognized the hypocrisy.

    The next few days will be spent securing as many House votes as possible while the press goes wild focusing on Gov. Douglasshole's childish attempt to avoid distraction.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 26, 2009 10:30:37 AM

  6. Is this going to be another one of those guys found blowing someone in a public toilet somewhere?

    Posted by: David D. | Mar 26, 2009 10:38:43 AM

  7. "Is this going to be another one of those guys found blowing someone in a public toilet somewhere?"

    Highly unlikely. Some Republicans are actually anti-gay and straight. He's one of them.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 26, 2009 10:56:12 AM

  8. What a dick. That "thread the needle" comment at the end shows he's truly only interested in actions of political convenience. I'm sure he was against civil unions when the were proposed and for some time while they were still relatively new. Now that they are ten years old, he has to temper his language and admit they didn't end civilization. But taking the next step to full marriage is now the new tipping point in his twisted mind. Talk about moving the goal posts. I hope in 20-30 years, he looks back on this decision with the deepest regret and shame, not likely though.

    Posted by: James C. | Mar 26, 2009 11:02:21 AM

  9. Even his comb-over is limp. But he's speaking the truth when he says Obama is also against same-sex marriage. Yep, that is true. Just in case you didn't know, and thought you had friends in high places.

    Posted by: Henriette | Mar 26, 2009 11:45:47 AM

  10. Let me say that I do not know the USA's State and/or Federal law making system, but what sort of a democracy do you have when one person can veto a bill that was accepted by a majority?
    Over here, in the end, our Queen (we are a monarchy) must sign all bills, and theoretically she can veto it, but it also means she must abdicate should she do so.
    - From the Netherlands.

    Posted by: Dutch guy | Mar 26, 2009 12:22:28 PM

  11. @DUTCH GUY: the United States is not and never has been a pure democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic. The State Constitutions set out rules regarding how laws are made in each individual state. The U.S. Constitution determines how laws are made at the federal level.

    Posted by: peterparker | Mar 26, 2009 1:08:29 PM

  12. Does anyone know what it would take to override his veto? Does it seem within the realm of possibility?

    Posted by: Michael | Mar 26, 2009 1:51:03 PM

  13. @ Dutch Guy: I actually live in the NL myself, and I am American. I think the closest comparison is between the EC and the member states.

    That said, we don't have executives in Europe, apart from France and Germany.

    Queen Beatrix doesn't "check" the power of the cabinet through veto, but she does ask Balkenende to form a new cabinet every other year. So that is a way of keeping them under control.

    It's just a different system that we have. It's sad to say I haven't come to the conclusion that one is better. :-S

    Posted by: Chris | Mar 26, 2009 2:28:25 PM

  14. According to the Vermont constitution:
    If, upon such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members present of that House shall pass the bill, it shall, together with the objections, be sent to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of the members present of that House, it shall become a law.

    For the Senate 2/3 is 20 out of 30. 26 Senators voted for the bill, so as long as 6 or less senators back off they can override it.
    For the House 2/3 is 100 out of 150. There are 96 democratic representative, so is 4 of the 47 republicans/5 Progressives/2 independents cross over they can override the veto as well.
    Pretty decent odds.

    Posted by: anonymous | Mar 26, 2009 3:11:50 PM

  15. As Anonymous pointed out, the odds are decent but, as far as I know, there haven't been definitive numbers (at least not publicly) about the likely vote tally. (Some party line crossing is expected.) The governor's veto announcement wasn't expected, so we were just aiming to get maximum support in the House (there is no question that it would have passed), support that becomes all the more crucial now that we definitely need a 2/3 override majority.

    But, basically, one spineless governor is potentially in control of whether we get equal marriage rights in VT or not. He sucks and it sucks.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 26, 2009 3:42:48 PM

  16. I'm hoping it'll help the VT House a little that the NH House just approved their own gay marriage bill. The writing's on the wall in New England.

    Posted by: Bruno | Mar 26, 2009 4:47:40 PM

  17. it's too much of a distraction?

    if he wouldn't veto the bill, it would no longer be a distraction.

    Posted by: sam | Mar 26, 2009 7:05:00 PM

  18. Governing on his feelings and beliefs not what LAWS and RIGHTS dictate? We must stamp out all hints of THEOCRACY immediately!

    Posted by: Timothy | Mar 27, 2009 9:47:09 AM

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