Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Governor to veto VT gay marriage

As reported by AP (H/T Susan Russell)
Gov. Jim Douglas said Wednesday he will veto a gay-marriage proposal if it passes the Legislature, the first time he has signaled such an intent before final legislative action on a bill.
You know you can't keep track without a scorecard these days, can you? I'm confused, is it okay when the courts say yes or no? What about the legislature?

If courts approve gay marriage (as in MA, CA, or NJ) = activist judges = bad, should let the legistlature decide

But if courts deny gay marriage (as may yet happen in CA) = good judges, who are not being activist.

If the legislature approves gay marriage (MA, CA, VT) = upending moral values = bad, let's hope the judges overturn it (in which case they aren't activists)

But if legislature denies gay marriage (eg., VA) = people's representatives doing the right thing and their decision should stand.

Governor vetoes legislature (VT) = good even though it's one person overturning the people's representatives , so much for representative democracy

Governor vetoes (CA last year) a legislative bill that's pro gay marriage because he's waiting for a court decision = good, let the process work (as long as it works to disallow gay marriage!)

Governor supports gay marriage (MA) = bad, he should overturn the people's representatives, with the courts if necessary.

Is it just me or is there no consistency to the conservative's arguments except "Gay = Icky"?


Wormwood's Doxy said...

It's not just you, honey...

This is such a great explication of the madness. I hope you are going to post it at DailyKos and elsewhere.


it's margaret said...

And even if you dismiss what the conservatives are saying/doing, the rollercoaster ride of hope/hope dashed to splinters is exhausting if not dangerous for the psyche.

And like what Doxy said, you should post this at DailyKos.

IT said...

Okay, I will do that tomorrow (I already posted today)

dr.primrose said...

I know nothing about the Vermont legislative process but offer some possibly hopeful comments. The state senate passed the bill by a huge majority -- 87%. I understand that the assembly is also expected to pass the bill, perhaps also by a large majority. Even if the governor vetos the bill, Vermont may have a procedure (similar to that in the federal system) by which the legislature may override the veto by some kind of super-majority vote and the bill becomes law, despite the veto. Anyone who has some actual knowledge about this is welcome to jump in and illuminate the rest of us.

Frair John said...

Never underestimate the power of hypocrisy.
It is one of the few consistent things in this world.

David |Dah • veed| said...

From The Atlantic, The Daily Dish

The Vermont governor will veto the marriage equality bill passed overwhelmingly by the state Senate. The margin in the House is also very high, as Douglas conceded:
"I'm sure that legislative leaders would not have advanced this bill if they did not have the votes to override a veto. I will accept the outcome of their vote either way."

IT said...

What I've read, Dahveed, is less confident.

But even if so, what is gained by his posturing, except deliberate "eff you" to the GLBT community and craven bending to the conservative haters? At best it is pure cynicism. NOT something to lightly dismiss.

RudigerVT said...

Hi, y'all from VT.

Douglas is playing to his base. He has a genius, really, for saying just the right thing in a given context. I've seen him, many times, pitch his message in an impressively appropriate way to fit the tenor of the event and the temperament of the assembled people. But I've also heard audio tape of his speeches to the state GOP, and for them, he sneers, snarls, and brays: total red meat.

He is the ultimate high self monitor: able to instantly read and decode social cues so that his behavior fits the situation.

Then again, within hours of Sarah Palin's unveiling, he was touting the talking points and telling us all that she shares "Vermont values" (uh, no).

So, anyway, it's marginal but possible that the House will over-ride his veto. One of the Governor's options was to have let the bill become law without his signature (or to sign it, of course).

I'm very disappointed that he's taking this particular stand, although, in this very small state, I will resist the urge to be tacky about it. Alas, the announcement didn't surprise a political insider I spoke to earlier this evening (at Vestry -- go figure).

I do, however, wonder if this will motivate and galvanize moderate-to-liberal Vermonters. We've put up with Douglas for a long time, in part because incumbents have always enjoyed a major advantage here (and his opponents have included a series of iffy Democrats and the occasional Progressive-party spoiler).

Ironically, it was Howard Dean's signing the civil-unions legislation into law that led to his only serious challenge (from a candidate who was -- to put it mildly -- imperfect).

The two venues for keeping tabs on the situation are the Burlington Free Press (a Gannett paper that, actually, has been improving a bit of late) and Seven Days, a weekly freebie.


James said...

Every state is in financial melt down and that includes VT. Yet, their governor is only concerned about two same sex people getting married. It boggles the mind.

Anonymous said...

Unhappily the Civil Unions bill in Hawai'i died today when the Senate refused to pull the house passed bill out of a deadlocked (3-3) judiciary committee that had two homophobes on it. Hawai'i is sooo backward and is being invaded by Assemblies of God types from the mainland.

So Hawai'i is gay-hostile for the time being. Come only if you like being second class citizens!

MadPriest said...

Americans can very sarcastic and dismissive about the British constitution. But our (unelected) head of state must never, ever, veto any act that Parliament passes and our prime-minister legally cannot veto any act.

The thought of one person being able to overrule the democratic process just disgusts me. What is the point in anyone campaigning for anything in the states? Ah, perhaps I have just stumbled on the truth.

James said...

Anonymous - re. Hawaii: Lots of Mormons live there.

Anonymous said...

This post (or a version of it) is now posted at Daily Kos (aka the Big Orange), go give it some love if you are so inclined.


David |Dah • veed| said...

MP, could you point us to the British Constitution so we might go give it a read?

Anonymous said...

mad priest, the legislature can over-ride the veto with sufficient votes. We call it checks and balances.


MadPriest said...

Mexican. One does not read the British Constitution. One can only be born into it.

dr.primrose said...

On a much brighter note, next door, the New Hampshire House has passed a bill today approving same-sex marriage and sent the bill to the state senate -- NH House approves gay marriage, sends bill to Sen..

Accoding to the story:

The state House on Thursday voted narrowly to make New Hampshire the third state to allow gay couples to marry.

The bill, which passed the House 186-179, next goes to the Senate, where its future is uncertain. Democratic Gov. John Lynch opposes gay marriage but has not said specifically that he would veto it — a position that spokesman Colin Manning reiterated after the vote.

Two years ago, the Legislature approved, and Lynch signed, civil unions for gays, which provide all the rights of marriage, except in name

Jase said...

Da'veed; the British Constitution is not one volume like most other national constitutions. It is a series of "things" from the last 1,000 years all combined in many different documents. At least that is what I learned in all my British history classes

MadPriest said...

Quite right, Jase.
And I've got an O level in "British Constitution" so there must be one somewhere.

David said...

Is it just me or is there no consistency to the conservative's arguments except "Gay = Icky"?

No, there isn't.

Boy, that was easy. Didn't strain my brain at all. Got any more like that ?