Vermont Governor Says He Will Veto Same-Sex Marriage Bill

 Vermont Governor Jim Douglas said today he will veto a same-sex marriage bill if it comes to his desk, WCAX reports:

Douglas"He made the public announcement this afternoon. The
Vt. Senate gave its final stamp of approval Tuesday to a bill that
would allow same-sex couples to marry in Vermont. Passage came on a
voice vote with no debate, one day after the Senate gave the bill
preliminary approval on a 26-4 roll call vote. Now the issue moves to
the House, where the Judiciary Committee has scheduled a week's worth
of testimony on the issue. It is expected to pass. Governor
Douglas has said that he opposes the bill, and this afternoon he
announced he plans to veto it. He said he made the announcement to stop
speculation and to focus attention on economy."


Douglas has said he's opposed to same-sex marriage legislation but had until today refused to say what he'd do if they bill reached his desk. Lawmakers had expressed confidence that Douglas would let the bill become law without his signature or veto.

According to Vermont's Legislative website, "If he vetoes the bill it is returned
together with the veto message to the  Clerk of the House or Secretary of the
Senate. Then that house must consider it and if it is passed by a two-thirds
vote of each house, then it goes to the Secretary of States office and becomes
a permanent part of the statutes. If either house fails to get a two-thirds
vote the bill is dead."


  1. Eric says

    Yes, because simply signing a bill that has already been passed is going to take so much time away from focusing on the economy.

  2. Mike says

    What a complete ASS! Like the legislators can’t chew gum and walk at the same time! He clearly is just trying to hide behind the economy as an excuse. I hope the Vermont legislators call his bluff and go ahead and pass, and then if he Vetoes they should override him. The economy is of course important, but there is nothing as fundamentally important as human rights. As we’ve all been told, there are some things that money simply cannot buy! Shameful!

  3. Pender says

    Fucking asshole. I have set foot in Vermont all of one time in my life, but I will right now pledge $200 to his Democratic opponent at the next election.

    Anyone else?

    What are the odds that we get a veto-proof majority in the state house?

  4. Rafael says

    I hope he gets overridden, if Vermont legislators are serious about this issue, they should set strong precedence.

  5. alex in boston says

    So much for “let the people vote”! They voted when they elected their Legislators, the majority of whom voted IN FAVOR of this measure! Fucking GOP!!! I too will send a donation to the person who runs against this neanderthal!

  6. says

    All my fellow Vermonters need to flood his office with calls.

    And the reason this jackass keeps getting reelected is because the non-conservative vote keeps getting split 3 ways! YAAAARGHHH.

    We were hoping he’d just let it pass without his signature. 15 years together and we still can’t get married in the state we were both born in.

  7. Michael says

    What’s the best way to protest this? I’m politically unsavvy, if that’s a word. This is outrageous and I’d like to make my voice heard.

  8. KFLO says




  9. Jon B says

    Well, I’ll be donating to his rival in an upcoming election. Possibly even campaigning. Let’s get every Republican Governor out of the Northeast. They aren’t welcome.

  10. K says

    Those Republicans: Can’t ever resist an opportunity to be shitty toward law-abiding, tax-paying gay Americans.

  11. says

    “Protest”? What will that look like….waving a sign and begging for this right as if we do NOT ALREADY deserve it as taxpaying Americans? Writing another letter? Another phone call? Get a petition signed by folks who say we are “good enough”? F*CK THAT.

    Tax Revolt so they know you are actually SERIOUS about demanding this right, and SERIOUS about holding government accountable to ALL citizens. Can you REALLY have DIGNITY when you grovel? Heteros AND the Queers who refuse to revolt can pay our taxes; we stopped a long time ago.

  12. Jake says

    He looks like an uptight closeted republican to me! Shocking I know.
    OMG – I just looked at her/his picture on the Vermont Governor’s site! Girl please!

  13. John in CA says

    I’m waiting for our resident Republican apologists to blame this on the Democrats in the Legislature. You know it is coming.

  14. crispy says

    Can you REALLY have DIGNITY when you encourage people to stop paying taxes, yet accept tax-supported welfare?

    John Bisceglia – biting the hand that feeds since 2005.

  15. says

    I penned a steaming letter to my legislators telling them to override the bill, posted it on my blog, and forwarded it to my entire damned mailing list.

  16. Michael says

    Vermont only needs to look at a little history lesson that Californian’s learned, beginning when the California State Legislature opened the 2005-2006 session. Assembly member Mark Leno introduced Assembly Bill 19, which proposed legalizing same-sex marriage. Leno had introduced a similar bill in the prior session, but it died in committee. Assembly committees reported out Assembly Bill 19 favorably, but the measure failed on the Assembly floor on June 2, 2005. Later that month, Assembly member Patty Berg amended the text of her fisheries-research measure, Assembly Bill 849, which was already in the Senate, to the text of Leno’s failed bill.

    In Septmber 2005, California’s legistlature became the first in the nation to approve same-sex marriage without court pressure, approving the bill in senate 21-15, and passing in the California State Assembly with a vote of 41-35. The next day, September 7, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger indicated he would veto the bill, citing Proposition 22, which had passed with the approval a majority of voters five years earlier. Like the statutes amended by AB 849, Prop 22 prohibited the state from recognizing same-sex marriages, but as an initiative statute, it was not affected by AB 849. The legislature avoided physically delivering the bill to the governor for over two weeks, during which time advocacy groups urged Schwarzenegger to change his mind. Ultimately, the bill was delivered on September 23 and vetoed on September 29, 2005. Schwarzenegger stated he believed that same-sex marriage should be settled by the courts or another vote by the people via a statewide initiative or referendum.He argued that the legislature’s bill simply complicated the issue, as the constitutionality of Proposition 22 had not yet been determined, and its ultimate disposition would render AB 849 either unconstitutional or redundant.

    Shortly after the newly elected Assembly was sworn in, Leno resubmitted a similar bill on December 4, 2006. AB 43 was passed by the legislature in early September 2007, giving the governor until October 14, 2007, to either sign or veto the bill. Schwarzenegger had stated months before that he would veto AB 43 on the grounds that the issue at hand had already been voted on by California by way of Proposition 22. The governor followed through on his statement and on October 12, 2007, he vetoed AB 43. Schwarzenegger wrote in his veto statement that to solve the issue of gender-neutral marriage, the California Supreme Court needed to finish its rule on the challenge which had been made to Proposition 22.

    May 16, 2008, the California Supreme Court deemed Proposition 22 to be unconstitutional, which then led to the battle among the electorate to ammend California’s constitution through Proposition 8.

    My heart goes out to Jamie, and all the Jamie’s in Vermont. Native Californian’s both, my Husband and I were married on July 3rd last summer, after 15 years together, and now we find the fate of our marriage to be in the hands of the Supreme Court, knowing well that the social conservatives here will continue to battle against our right to free association through the contract of marriage. My heart breaks for you, Jamie, but my heart is shattered for all the young gay people who are being told that they are and will be in the near future, unequal and unworthy of the states recognition of their relationships.

    Please let this be your call to action. Protest, join the Courage Campaign or another organization that you feel best serves your fight for equality, not just in marriage, but for other causes, such as the Employment Non-discrimination Act. Get out there, fight, work, and most importantly…HOPE!

  17. jim says

    Apparently, the 2/3rds vote needed to override the veto is 2/3rd of the voting legislature PRESENT, not 2/3rds of the legislature as a whole. So, Vermonters! MAKE SURE YOUR REP IS THERE TO BE COUNTED!

  18. Jonc says

    I just called the Governor’s office; his assistants seemed frustrated and annoyed when they learned why I was calling.

    It takes less than two minutes. Call his office and don’t stop!

    800 649-6825 (toll-free in VT only)

  19. DR says

    What really saddens me is this:

    Most states are in a budget deficit. It costs money to get a marriage license. So that will actually HELP the deficit by bringing in more money to the state. When you add in the honeymoons and folks who will travel in from other states to have legal ceremonies, that will be an economic boon to many small businesses.

    It is possible to help civil rights along AND help the economy at the same time.

  20. jimmyboyo says


    “Republicans really make it difficult not to hate them.’

    you said it all right there

  21. johnosahon says

    where are the LOG CABINs to tell their republican govenor to snap out of it?

    instead of focusing on Obama and Ed henry, you need to put your foucus on your republican fellow’s ass.

  22. Brian says

    So another Republican wants gays to remain 2nd class citizen. This is news? Come on Vermont legislators, override that veto and show your state to be a beacon of freedom for all.

  23. Alex says

    So back to the guy who on an earlier posting about this bragging about how in all states that were allowing gay marriage were run by Republicans (as if somehow they did something to move that along), I say F*** YOU.

    Here is the second example of a Republican Governor vetoing a bill from the legislature that represents the citizens of that state.


  24. SSD says

    I just sent him a letter asking him to reconsider. Also mentioning that I travel a lot and I would encourage people not to visit/spend their money in a state with a Govenor that would waste legislatives time and go against the majority of what their people want. I hope that this can be worked out. Our Gov in CA did the same shit to us, which is why it’s such a mess here now.

  25. tstas says

    I just sent an email, and all of you should too. Phone calls are even better.

    These bastards are on the wrong side of history, and it will only be a matter of time when history books put these people in the same column as slave owners, segregationists, and those who fought against suffrage and interracial marriage.

  26. Mike says

    So what’s the veto message going to say: “I told you I wanted you to concentrate on the economy so I am vetoing this out of spite”? How lame is that?

  27. Bill Perdue says

    @ Jersey ^^^^. The Republicans are about as bad as they get, but no one beats Democrats like Bill Clinton who not only championed and signed DOMA but boasted about it to get bigot votes to get reelected. And just like Obama torpedoing same sex marriage with his infamous comment “gawd’s in the mix” who said it to pick up bigot votes. gawd alone knows what Obama will do to get reelected

    The differences between Democrats and Republicans in office are that some resemble the American Landrace breed and some are Angeln Saddlebacks. But they’re all pigs.

  28. says

    As a Vermonter, I am, of course, infuriated with Gov. Douglas, who lives in the same town I do and graduated from the college my b/f teaches at. This is an especially asshole move because: he has never previously jumped the legislative process to indicate whether he’ll veto; he waited till this far along in the process to throw out the V-word; the public is in favor of marriage equality; the legislature, by a wide majority, is in favor of marriage equality. Saying he’ll veto only increases the distraction factor, his main state reason for opposing the bill (other than 2nd class CUs are good enough for the gay folks).

    It is possible that he thinks there is a veto-proof majority so he’s doing this to cover his political ass with the wingnut minority (i.e. it will become law but he won’t be responsible). In any event, we and our supporters are a force to be reckoned with in VT, and we won’t take this lying down. VT Freedom to Marry will be striving for a veto-proof House majority until the vote happens. (We already have it in the Senate.) Meanwhile, I’ll be contacting the appropriate people and sticking pins in my Gov. Douglas voodoo doll.

    And working to defeat the bastard next election. Last time round we had 2 weak candidates splitting the liberal vote. This time we need one strong candidate.

  29. says

    What a total asshole he turns out to be. I’m embarrassed he has a degree from my department at my college (before my time).

    “These beliefs are deeply held, passionately expressed” — yeah, like that makes them OK? My grandparents had deeply held and passionately expressed beliefs about race in the South. They were still racists. Douglas, too, is on the wrong side of history, and his grandkids will be ashamed of his legacy.

    I’m hoping the veto gets overridden, but I’m for reviving the old VT slogan, “Remember in November” to kick his ass out of office (if only our Dems and Progressives can get their shit together and field one good candidate). We’ll come back here and remind you towleroad friends when that time comes!

  30. says

    I stood in his office while some dozen gay vermonters explained why this is important and why marriage and civil unions are not the same. He now acts like he had his ears plugged at the time. Sometimes he just lies and says he’s never heard why they’re not equal. He’s lying.

  31. says

    Bill Purdue, the marriage bill in VT has nothing to do with Obama or Clinton. It has to do with a Republican governor being an asshole.

    Bash Democrats all you like, but they–along with our Progressives and a few brave moderate Republicans–are the independent minded ones who will overwhelmingly pass a marriage equality bill in VT. Our governor is scum, but our Democrats and other supporters are not, so spare us your foolish propaganda.

  32. Robert Galik says

    This is the guy who — minutes after McCain selected MORON Sarah Palin as his V/P pick — declared what a WONDERFUL V/P she’d make. Which is to say, Douglas is a Republican through-and-through — and one THIS Vermonter will work to defeat next election. Bye, Doug!

  33. TANK says

    This is ridonkulous. But lookee, he’s hanging himself with barbed wire because if he vetoes it, he’ll likely be humiliated by being overruled. So what are his other political aspirations, if any?

  34. TANK says

    and vermont’s about maple syrup and pancakes…maple candy and new yorkers who have homes there. Boutique gourmet and skiing…not this. It’s too cute for this.

  35. Paul says

    He one the last election with over 50% of the vote, hopefully they’ll run someone with a better chance against him next time :(

  36. Larry_in_Vermont says

    The Vermont Freedom to Marry Taskforce is asking people to PLEASE email Douglas and express your OUTRAGE at his actions.

    I would hope we could get this story out there and get millions of people to get up off their butt and let Douglas know that he is on the WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY on this one.

    You can email the governor directly at this link:

  37. Jim/Charlotte says

    Just another hetero sexist hegemonist. lol.
    Couldn’t resist, sorry.

    He’s just a plain and simple jackass.

  38. Jason says

    I was surprised to read this. I thought Vermont would have been one of the first states to allow same sex marriage. Sorry to hear this.
    – A Canadian that loves Vermont

  39. vermontlesbian says

    If you want to make a difference in Vermont where the battle is very much still raging, make a donation to either

    Vermont Freedom to Marry

    which is working hard to get the votes needed to override the veto

    and/or to the Vermont Democratic Party

    Which strongly supports equal marriage rights and working hard to get rid of Douglas in the next election.

    Vermonters will be gathering at Douglas’ office tomorrow morning at 8:45 AM. Time to man the barricades!

  40. lindsay says

    Governor Douglas is a good man to stand up for his own beliefs and the traditional beliefs that so many people have. Civil Unions offer many benefits. The belief that marriage is a sanctity between a man and a woman is not merely religious, a legal value. Those with this morals will feel the same way as him and many other politicians and citizens. Douglas however is one of the first brave enough to veto this bill to show what he believes. That in no way makes him a Coward.