Gay Marriage | News | Vermont

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."

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

    Posted by: Eric | Mar 25, 2009 2:47:48 PM

  2. He could just sign it so the legislators could focus on the economy instead of overriding his veto...

    Posted by: sdc | Mar 25, 2009 2:49:40 PM

  3. What a sh*thead... Vote him out of office..

    Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 25, 2009 2:49:59 PM

  4. 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!

    Posted by: Mike | Mar 25, 2009 2:51:01 PM

  5. 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?

    Posted by: Pender | Mar 25, 2009 2:57:03 PM

  6. What a jackass. Did he even watch the arguments?

    Posted by: Bryan | Mar 25, 2009 3:00:20 PM

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

    Posted by: Rafael | Mar 25, 2009 3:02:46 PM

  8. What a cowardly straight white man! Btw , FOX, CBN, etc I'm a white man.

    Posted by: Observer1000 | Mar 25, 2009 3:05:33 PM

  9. 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!

    Posted by: alex in boston | Mar 25, 2009 3:06:08 PM

  10. 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.

    Posted by: Jamie | Mar 25, 2009 3:09:27 PM

  11. 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.

    Posted by: Michael | Mar 25, 2009 3:10:48 PM




    Posted by: KFLO | Mar 25, 2009 3:11:00 PM

  13. Contact the Gov:

    Posted by: KFLO | Mar 25, 2009 3:18:13 PM

  14. 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.

    Posted by: Jon B | Mar 25, 2009 3:19:06 PM

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

    Posted by: K | Mar 25, 2009 3:20:05 PM

  16. "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.

    Posted by: John Bisceglia | Mar 25, 2009 3:25:01 PM

  17. 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!

    Posted by: Jake | Mar 25, 2009 3:36:55 PM

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

    Posted by: John in CA | Mar 25, 2009 3:39:09 PM

  19. When contacting the Governor you may refer to the bill as the Act to Protect Religious Freedom and Promote Equality in Civil Marriage, here is a link to the legislation:

    Posted by: Rafael | Mar 25, 2009 3:39:23 PM

  20. 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.

    Posted by: crispy | Mar 25, 2009 3:43:19 PM

  21. He probably wants to run for President. That's all.

    Posted by: clint | Mar 25, 2009 3:47:07 PM

  22. 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.

    Posted by: Jamie | Mar 25, 2009 3:47:13 PM

  23. 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!

    Posted by: Michael | Mar 25, 2009 3:49:32 PM

  24. Republicans really make it difficult not to hate them.

    Posted by: Jersey | Mar 25, 2009 3:56:52 PM

  25. 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!

    Posted by: jim | Mar 25, 2009 3:57:50 PM

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