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March 25, 2009

Gov. Douglas Says He'll Veto Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Listen to him say so here, courtesy of VPR. And here's video from WPTZ.

UPDATE: Here's a statement from House Speaker Shap Smith and Senate Pro Tem Peter Shumlin.

Today, Governor Douglas announced his intention to veto S.115, which has not completed the legislative process.

“The governor’s announcement today undermines the legislative process is disrespectful to Vermonters who come to the people’s house to weigh in on the important matters of our time,” said Speaker Shap Smith. “History will judge Jim Douglas on the wrong side of this issue.”

“Today is a sad day for Vermont,” said Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin. “The governor may choose to veto a bill, but he cannot veto love and commitment.”

He was against Civil Unions. Now this.

It is a very sad day for Vermont.

What is so hard about equality?

Well, we elected him. What did we expect? Can we throw him out next time, please, or is he just so folksy he deserves our votes?

I'm shocked, but not really surprised. I'd hoped that this last minute, short-notice-no-live-coverage announcement meant that he was going to say that he wouldn't veto, but wouldn't sign it. He could've virtually guaranteed re-election if he at least did that. Dems and some liberals would've voted for him. As it is, if the veto is overridden, he may have a tough time.

The only thing to do now is to lobby the House. Write, email, call. It's hard work but THIS IS THE STUFF THAT WORKS. Look at Massachusetts and what they did there.

Don't hurl insults, don't belittle. Organize.

When they hear our stories, when they see our faces & families, when they know who we are they are much more likely to support us. History has proven this.

Take heart, do the work, and be patient. Time and truth are on our sides. If not, Douglas would have had stronger arguments than the tired "this is a distraction from the budget/jobs work, our #1 priority". If that was the case, he should have vetoed the sex offender laws last month since, that too, had nothing to do with jobs. Who's really guilt of distractions here?

He's flailing because he has no arguments. But he doesn't need them - he has the veto pen, and we gave it to him.

It's time to organize. Write, call, email, volunteer with Freedom to Marry. It's not easy... but it's not supposed to be.

What a dick.
I don't know what Gov Douglas' problem is with equality but to say that he wants to veto because the economy should be the focus of the legislature is a total cop-out. If that is indeed the case then let them vote and move on. Gov Douglas' announcement of veto has guaranteed that equal rights will become a "distraction" just as Douglas said it would.
I wonder why Douglas doesn't think my mom has the same right to happiness and security as other mom's just because the person she loves is a woman.
I'd like to say more but honestly I am so disappointed and angry I don't trust myself to type any more.

At first I had the knee jerk reaction of hating the decision. After re-reading his statement, my feelings are changing. I think by using his veto power the Gov is really turning the issue back to the Assembly to represent their people. Since the Republicans didn't get their statewide referendum, they will instead turn this back, save face, and give the people the choice of what they want to do.

It's an additional hurdle to jump and doesn't make me like Gov Douglas but I can understand why he made this decision which is not the one I would have made.

I agree that people shouldn't get caught up in frustrations and allow quiet tyrants to steer our society with a "veto" pen, but I would also like to say that I have never voted for him therefore "we" did not elect him...

OK now that I have had my bitter indignation moment, I can move on to writing my reps in Montpelier about sticking it to Jim and finally have (more) equal rights for Vermonters.

This should be an easy issue to resolve because the equations are simple. Expanding civil rights = right thing to do. Separation of church & state = constitutional. So sign already and we could move on to the economy. But I'm not surprised, just tremendously disappointed in this announcement, and resolved to do everything I can to defeat Douglas in the next election--and pass civil marriage in Vermont.

Call Gov. Douglas(802-828-3333) and tell him not to veto S.115. That prick!

The Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Business Round Table, and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility all came out publicly in support of same-sex marriage.
It's time for the masses to be heard so our Governor can realize that in Vermont we do not discriminate.

This is very infuriating. I am more than ever displeased with Douglas...Just when I thought I couldn't be more so.

Don't forget, if the bill receives enough votes in the House to override the veto, it will pass. Governor Douglas doesn't have the final word. Our legislators do.

I think this is an inefficient use of legislative time when they should be working to preserve, protect, and produce jobs for Vermonters. If this session runs over because they decided to spend precious time on what is nothing more than a Democratic legislature posturing before a Republican executive branch I am going to be very upset.

This is real money we're talking about. Play the farce out another time.

1) This is not wasting "legislative time." The work is done in committee. I can't imagine what the Judiciary Committee could be working on to help the economy... OK, maybe legalizing marijuana for taxable purposes.

2) Will Middlebury College want someone as their president who vetoed an equal rights law? Don't think so.

Two words Gov. Douglas:
Screw you. Moderate my ass.

The campaign to unseat this very shortsighted man begins now! After senators like Mullin from Rutland and others laid their careers on the line to "err on the side of equality" and with the polls all showing support, I truly am shocked, even with my low standards I have for Douglas. Come on legislators- come up with the 100 votes!!

The "inefficient use of time" some seem to be saying is going to bring the wheels of government to a grinding halt as Jimbo alleges, will have already been spent by the time the bill makes it to his desk. So the best way for him to make an efficient use of Legislative time is to sign the bill into's all perspective.

Very sad that he continues to feel so obliged to serve the very few extreme right ($$$) at the expense the very many and what is fair and right. In the future he will be seen as being an obstacle to progress and on the wrong side of history.

I sorry to hear this Gov. I think it's pretty clear the people of Vermont want this and while you've said it will be a distraction it seems to me it would have been less so if you had signed the bill. Now that you've vetoed the bill I suspect you'll get more of a distraction!

This is ridiculous, you'd think that in our day and age letting other people be happy wouldn't be so damned hard. Good thing I'm not ready to marry... *sigh* What's so "distracting" about passing a bill?! All you do is approve it... Letting it drag on like this is what's making it a bigger issue than it has to be.

Maybe this is the issue that will wake people up to the fact that Douglas has done nothing for Vermont. While he's been a masterful politician, he has done nothing to advance issues like alternative energy, environmental conservation and the quality of life important to Vermonters. When will the people stand up and say enough with this guy!

Douglas plans to run for President and is doing this to show the national conservative base his loyalty to the principles of the GOP. He cares NOTHING about Vermont or it's social and economic issues. His main concern is how he appears on the national stage. He wants to appear as a fiscal conservative by reducing the size of state government at the expense of economic sensibility, furthermore, he wants to appeal to the Christian Conservatives by vetoing same sex marriage.

"He was against Civil Unions. Now this."

Douglas wasn't even Governor when civil unions became the law. That was in 2000, 2 years before Douglas was even elected. And you may recall that Dean was against gay marriage also, and only signed the civil unions law in secret.

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