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Vermont Shows How to go about Recognizing Gay Marriage*

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:52 pm - April 7, 2009.
Filed under: Gay Marriage

While some silly gay marriage advocates see a popular groundswell for gay marriage in court decisions, the vote today of Vermont’s legislature to override Governor Douglas’s veto of legislation providing for state recognition of same-sex unions is the first indication we have that popular opinion could be turning in favor of gay marriage.

Instead of turning to courts, we should be going through legislatures. I believe that is the better way to build a consensus for same-sex marriage as this process may well have shown.

Unlike California whose gargantuan legislative districts (each state Senate district has more residents than the entire population of the Green Montain State) prevent our state legislators from regular interaction with all but a handful of their constituents, Vermont has one of the largest state Houses in the country, with nearly twice the representatives of California’s corresponding house.  And the population of Vermont is approximately 2% of California’s.

Whereas our Golden State legislators respond more readily to interest groups than constituents, those in the Green Mountain State have such small constituencies that their own constituents have ready access to them.  And since their legislative responsibilities are not full-time jobs, they have to return to live and work in their jurisdictions.

In short, they’re going to hear from their constituents about their vote on gay marriage.

By the end of the month, the Vermont legislature will adjourn for the year and its legislators will return home (well, some legislators return from Montpelier each night while others goes back on the weekend) and face their constituents.  My sense is that they wouldn’t have voted for this bill if they feared a popular backlash back home.

So, the tide may be turning, in the Green Mountain State at least.

*Not entirely happy with this title. Already changed it once.

Spent too much time on Vermont legislature’s web-site confirming (and learning) details such that when post was done was eager to get it up that I hastened to put a title on it. Wanted to suggest sense that (1) legislature is appropriate branch of government to handle such issues and (2) significance of size of legislative districts in Green Mountain State as indicative of popular appeal of this proposal–or lack of significant popular opposition.

Don’t think title conveys all that. For the record, I’m not always happy with my titles.

UPDATE: I wonder if gay liberals will note conservative and libertarian bloggers who are saying that Vermont, is as one put it, doing it the right way by effecting gay marriage through the legislature.

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29 Comments

  1. Glad to see it happen through the legislative process. The only whiff of politics I see is in the house vote (the fact that it was exactly two thirds tells me that there was more support, but some folks want coverage with their voters) and the Governour’s veto. (I’ve not seen his reasoning for the veto)

    Now all we need is for the Vermont supreme court to void the law, so bob can come and cheer for the judicial supremacy he wants to live under.

    Comment by The Livewire — April 7, 2009 @ 1:08 pm - April 7, 2009

  2. You are aware that the California legislature passed a gay marriage bill not once, but twice? And that Arnold vetoed the bills, just as Vermont Governor Douglas did? So, in other words, Democratic majority-controlled state legislatures tried to bring gay marriage to both California and Vermont. The GOP Governors of both states vetoed that equality. In Vermont, they were able to overturn that veto, but in CA they couldn’t, because they didn’t have the votes, thanks to the GOP state legislators voting no. So why the California legislature bashing? They tried to bring us equality, but Arnold said no. You want legislatively-endowed equality? Ask Arnold why you don’t have it. Or would that break your “blame the Gay Left” narrative?

    Comment by torrentprime — April 7, 2009 @ 1:57 pm - April 7, 2009

  3. Lets see torrent,

    There’s this thing called Prop 22, that said the legislature couldn’t pass bills. Thus the gouvernator was doing his job.

    Then the courts decided to waggle their fingers and throw prop 22 out. Then the people voted in Prop 8 into the constitution. Thus the people spoke.

    IOW, if Vermont’s legislature got the will of the people wrong, the people will fix it.

    Comment by The Livewire — April 7, 2009 @ 2:06 pm - April 7, 2009

  4. Obviously, torrent, you don’t read my posts, you just spout our your bile. I have said (more than once) on this blog, had the citizens not first voted for Prop 22, the legislature would have acted appropriately.

    And do you even address the point of this post?

    Your reflexive reaction to anything I write is to attack.

    If you’d bothered to read my posts, you’d know I don’t want legislatively-endowed equality, whatever that is. Actually reading my posts might break your “attack GPW” mind-set.

    :-)

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — April 7, 2009 @ 2:10 pm - April 7, 2009

  5. heh,

    Legistlatedly-endowed.

    By an act of congress, Enzite for everyone!

    Comment by The Livewire — April 7, 2009 @ 2:37 pm - April 7, 2009

  6. Because, torrentprime, the voters of California, in line with their constitutionally-guaranteed power, passed Proposition 22.

    The California state constitution explicitly states that the Legislature may NOT enact legislation in conflict with a voter proposition unless said proposition allows for the legislature to do so — and Proposition 22 did not.

    The California Legislature had no power to act. Their actions were a clear violation of the state constitution, and Arnold acted appropriately.

    The reason California has this system is because it’s well-acquainted with rich special interest groups and their ability to purchase legislators. Our state’s founders made it clear that the right of the people to govern themselves takes precedence over everything else and thus put in this very clear check on the Legislature. Quite progressive — unless you’re a gay-sex liberal who has nothing but contempt for the voters, as are you.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 7, 2009 @ 2:39 pm - April 7, 2009

  7. Don’t confuse the small-lettered folks with silly things like laws and Constitutions.

    Those are just things to be ignored when they disagree with them.

    They’d be much happier in a dictatorship, no doubt.

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — April 7, 2009 @ 3:07 pm - April 7, 2009

  8. “A gay-sex liberal”
    Wow. Hey, GPW, where is the outrage over the personal attacks based on political disagreements? ND30 doesn’t know me, and his attacks are clearly based on nothing more than anger – I thought you hated that stuff. You complain about it on this blog (hourly). Surely you’ll rebuke him? Otherwise, someone might think you’re not serious about your principles.
    Actually, livewire, ND30, you’re wrong on the merits of the Prop 22. I know the law about what the legislature can and can’t touch based on it. Prop 22 touched one aspect of family code and was passed only to bar recognition of out-of-state marriages, and not the part of the law regarding marriage licences. The CA legislature was well within its rights and power to pass gay marriage. The governor was simply too afraid to sign it. Try again, you guys.

    Comment by torrentprime — April 7, 2009 @ 3:09 pm - April 7, 2009

  9. Actually, since Dan a) lives in CA, and b) isn’t a walking Cliche of liberal talking points, I think he has the truth of it.

    Again, does anyone know the Governour of VT’s reason for vetoing it?

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 7, 2009 @ 3:41 pm - April 7, 2009

  10. Wow. Hey, GPW, where is the outrage over the personal attacks based on political disagreements?

    Which part is the insult — gay, sex, or liberal?

    After all, aren’t you in favor of all three? Why does having that stated publicly bother you so much?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 7, 2009 @ 3:47 pm - April 7, 2009

  11. Just to say something positive even though I don’t support gay marriage though I do support full rights for same-sex covenants (and I’m about to turn all of that into an easy-to-remember acronym IDSGMTIDSFRFSSC): I think that having marriage available will change the dynamic of the gay community. If gays participate in this tradition, society will hold them to a higher standard of behavior. If gays get married, straights will expect them to play by the same rules, that is, sure, go ahead and have an open relationship, but don’t complain if your partner gets everything in the settlement after he decides hey, maybe, he really does care if you play around with the grocery clerk. So, while I think gays will go into marriage thinking they can bring open relationships and multiple partners with them, the reality of the bitterness and nastiness of the rejected will bring them to their senses. Expect the new gay version of The War of the Roses.

    Well, that was kind of positive.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — April 7, 2009 @ 5:54 pm - April 7, 2009

  12. I have recently begun saying that just because marriage for gays may not a “Right” does not mean it is not the right thing.

    Comment by BC — April 7, 2009 @ 7:51 pm - April 7, 2009

  13. ND30, your comments in this thread are like all your comments on this blog: pathetic, absurd, and irrelevant.

    To the point: even your online moniker is a lie. You are neither “North Dallas” nor “Thirty.” Indeed, you currently hail from the “gay sex” mecca of San Francisco and God knows you are a good five years older than your moniker indicates.

    Ever the hypocrite, you are what shall now be known as a “gay-sex conservative:” not in a committed relationship yourself with one of the same sex but most certainly interested in deriding those who are in such relationships.

    And yet being a gay-sex conservative, you still indulge when possible in treats of the flesh and occasional hook-ups (airport restrooms do the trick in a pinch).

    Unable to openly, proudly, and monogamously commit to a gay relationship? Cringe at the sight of other gay couples in public?

    Chat room much? Craigslist much? Anonymous sex much? Sit at home depressed much?

    If so: *you* are a gay-sex conservative.

    And since gay-sex conservatives are known hypocrites, even online monikers must display that quality. Therefore, you (in an attempt to gain red-state cred) claim “North Texas” merely because it is your native region.

    But like all gay-sex conservatives, you were forced to *head* to a locale with hook-up opportunities in abundance.

    North Dallas Thirty meet San Fran.

    San Fran meet a gay-sex conservative.

    Comment by JR — April 7, 2009 @ 8:00 pm - April 7, 2009

  14. WOW, JR, your smears on conservatives are a little much. You seem to base your prejudices not on the experiences of real-life conservatives, but your own prejudices.

    Please quit it with the insults. And those goes for my supporters as well. Don’t compromise your points with innuendo or insult.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — April 7, 2009 @ 8:12 pm - April 7, 2009

  15. GPWest: Your sentiments would appear more sincere had you called out ND30 upon *his* first use of the phrase “gay-sex liberal.”

    But so much for that.

    Indeed, viewing my comment above within the larger frame of this blog’s seeming rules of ‘etiquette,’ my comment appears right in line with the traditional ethos here.

    And all this despite your recent calls for diplomacy from the gay-sex conservative posters.

    Comment by JR — April 7, 2009 @ 8:22 pm - April 7, 2009

  16. I took North Dallas Thirty’s comment on “gay sex liberal” to mean the liberals who are only focused on the “sex” part of being gay and believe that the actual laws do not apply. The same people who keep the gay marriage debate focused on “Keep your Jesus off my Penis” as opposed to expressing how more monogamous, committed relationships will HELP society as opposed to hurting it. I did not really see it as him attacking anyone. However, JR, your attacks seem very unwarranted and, unless you are a scorned lover of ND30′s, probably false.

    Comment by BC — April 7, 2009 @ 9:19 pm - April 7, 2009

  17. On another positive note–I really respect Adam Clark. Perhaps it’s a new generationg of gays, but he just doesn’t give off that “Hey, WORLD, I’m GAY!!” vibe. It’s just one facet of his obviously intelligent and talented personality. I’m glad he’s offering a different vision of public gayness than, say, George Michael. Also, he has a good relationship with both his parents–a father who accepts him for not playing sports.

    It’s between him and Allison.

    Oh, and this relates to this thread because. . .uh. . .I hope he gets married in Vermont.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — April 7, 2009 @ 9:32 pm - April 7, 2009

  18. JR, fine, say whatever you please. I don’t check the threads as regularly as do some of our readers and have called my supporters on their language, both on the blog, in the comments and through private e-mails.

    Their insults hurt me more than they do you because they often compromise solid points they make backing up my points or taking on my critics.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — April 7, 2009 @ 10:03 pm - April 7, 2009

  19. [...] If I were gay I’d reward Vermont with my tourism dollars and have a big gay honeymoon there. And to gays across the nation looking forward to getting hitched in a state where the legality of same-sex marriage can’t be questioned, I say, Welcome to being caged up with the same person for the rest of your life, suckers!* More from Gay Patriot. [...]

    Pingback by Congratulations Gay Patriots | KyleSmithOnline.com — April 7, 2009 @ 11:44 pm - April 7, 2009

  20. Yes, yes, YES!! This is the way to do it. Not through the courts, but through the legislature. This takes away a good chunk out of the fundies’ talking points. Paramedics: revive Maggie Gallagher!

    Comment by Jimbo — April 8, 2009 @ 12:49 am - April 8, 2009

  21. Ah, what you could only learn had you done a little research, JR.

    But somehow I doubt that was the point of your screed. And that reminds me of an old saying; the only peoples’ opinions you have to care about are the people that you care about.

    There are plenty of people here about whose I do care, and those people know me. You’re not one of them.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 8, 2009 @ 2:12 am - April 8, 2009

  22. It would be interesting to see a poll of the people of Vermont to see if the legislature actually is reflecting their will, or is paying off a special interest group feeling secure they wont lose their seats over it.

    Comment by American Elephant — April 8, 2009 @ 7:22 am - April 8, 2009

  23. You are aware that the California legislature passed a gay marriage bill not once, but twice? And that Arnold vetoed the bills

    First, I believe there were 5 pro-gay bills that year and Ahnuld signed 4 of them, vetoing only the gay marriage one.

    Second, as I understand it, he was morally (if not legally) required to veto it. The legislature was wrong to pass a bill overriding the relatively recent vote of the People on the matter.

    Third, CA Democrats passed the bill KNOWING that Ahnuld would veto it. Several Democratic legislators – Latino, I believe – opposed gay marriage, and were set to defeat the bill, then switched their votes only after they got firm assurances of Ahnuld’s veto. In other words: they didn’t want gay marriage to pass, they just wanted something to help with the Democratic Party’s fundraising among gays. Looks like you fell for it hook, line and sinker, TP.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 8, 2009 @ 10:49 am - April 8, 2009

  24. The California state constitution explicitly states that the Legislature may NOT enact legislation in conflict with a voter proposition unless said proposition allows for the legislature to do so — and Proposition 22 did not.

    The California Legislature had no power to act. Their actions were a clear violation of the state constitution, and Arnold acted appropriately.

    Ah, there we go.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 8, 2009 @ 10:52 am - April 8, 2009

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  29. [...] truly have a citizen legislature where special interests don’t have the same sway.  So, I blogged to that [...]

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