Currently, Vermont recognizes civil unions, but the state Senate voted to legalize same-sex marriage earlier this week. The House will consider the measure later this week, and most reports indicate that the proposal will likely receive enough votes.
Douglas, however, has threatened to veto any measure that legalizes same-sex marriage. His spokesperson explained the governor's strained position:
Governor Douglas agrees with President Obama that marriage is between a man and a woman. He supports Vermont's current civil union law, which provides equal rights, benefits, and responsibilities to Vermonters in civil unions," said the governor's spokeswoman, Dennise Casey.This is an utterly wimpy argument. Douglas is a wimp because he chose to hide behind President Obama rather than articulating his own independent argument on the subject. Douglas is also a wimp because he chose to hide behind the economy in order to justify his position -- as if balancing the budget can excuse discrimination. Douglas' has made one of the most pathetic political arguments I have seen all year. Accordingly, Douglas is a strong contender for Wimp of the Year. Congratulations, Governor Jim Douglas of Vermont!
The governor "believes this bill is a distraction from the important work the legislature needs to do to pass a responsible budget and get our economy going again," Casey added.
Why Aren't These Things "Distracting"?
Here are some of the other things that Governor Douglas has done (or has planned for this year) that have not caused economic collapse in Vermont.
Vermont Quarter to get a Makeover: "Governor Jim Douglas has nominated Vermont’s 150 miles of the Appalachian Trail to replace the scene of Camel’s Hump and sap buckets as part of the U.S. Mint’s new America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Program."
Public Appearance Schedule of Governor Jim Douglas:
Friday, March 27, 2009
6:00 p.m. Annual Green-Up Poster Contest Awards Banquet, Capitol Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Montpelier
Saturday, March 28, 2009
10:00 a.m. Poultney Maple Fest Weekend Tree Tapping, Green Mountain College, Poultney
11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Tour of Sugar Houses for Maple Open House Weekend, Locations to be Announced
6:00 p.m. Vermont Trappers Association Annual Banquet, Montpelier Elks Club, Montpelier
Governor Douglas has time to hang out at a tree tapping, go on a tour of sugar houses and attend a poster contest banquet, but he thinks that debating civil rights is too distracting.
Related Reading on Dissenting Justice:
It's Official: Vermont Governor Jim Douglas Formally Announces His Intent to Veto Same-Sex Marriage Measure, If Passed