See if you can make sense of the rationale offered by Vermont Governor Jim Douglas for his pre-announced plan to veto the Freedom to Marry bill (because I’ve tried, and I can’t).
Here is what Douglas told the media:
“The urgency of our state’s economic and budgetary challenges demands the full focus of every member and every committee of this Legislature.”
Ok, to review:
1) The Vermont Senate voted for marriage equality by an overwhelming, veto-proof margin, 26-4.
2) Douglas has stated outright that he believes the Legislature has the votes to override his veto.
3) There are urgent economic and budgetary challenges that demand the full focus of the Legislature.
So, from his own stated perspective, what the Governor has decided to do is to make busy work for the Legislature, demanding that they divert their attention from the urgent economic challenges faced by his state, and guaranteeing that they spend more time on this bill. Why? Did he even think about this absurdly glaring contradiction?
There doesn’t seem to be any explanation other than that he is trying to influence the outcome in the House before they have even heard the bill. And on whose behalf? He’s certainly not representing the views of Vermont residents, who support full marriage equality 58% to 39% in a recent poll. Oh – and they also say that they’re more likely to vote for a public official who supports equality.
Sullivan: “I love posting about this with no reference to the courts. It’s a turning point, perhaps.” Or a tipping point. I agree. Regardless of the outcome this year in Vermont, the terrain has irreversibly shifted.
Question: Will Virginia be the last state to repeal its anti-marriage amendment – or did we learn something from Massive Resistance?