Vermont: Citizens can vote on the Lottery, but not on marriage | S. 115

s. 115, vermont, gay marriage

Senate Bill 115: “Marriage” = legally recognized union of two people.

Email the VT Governor: ask him to veto S. 115.

Find your representatives here: ask them to vote “No”

Senate email list & Representative email list

Friday, the Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5-0 to pass S. 115 onto the Senate floor.

The committee was made up of 4 democrats and 1 republican. Although the lone Republican, Kevin Mullin, at one point, proposed an amendment to the bill that asked for a statewide referendum— he abandoned his constituents and voted in support of the bill that literally crosses out the meaning of gender in marriage.

The bill is expected to pass both the House and the Senate, making Vermont the first state to force marriage redefinition on its citizens through the legislature.

So even though the state of Vermont allowed a lottery referendum, they won’t let the citizens decide (or even discuss?*) how marriage will be defined.

Perhaps the Republican Governor will veto, but he refuses to tell anyone his plans.

Baptist News quotes Steve Cable, president of Vermont Renewal and spokesperson for the Vermont Marriage Advisory Council:

I think [Vermont legislative leaders] realize that with California, Arizona and Florida this last election, and with secular social science [supporting traditional marriage] … they had better do it now because they really don’t have any arguments for gay marriage since we already have civil unions. Civil unions provide — according to every legal expert that’s testified to this committee — every legal benefit and protection that Vermont can provide. The only thing they can get out of this is the social status of marriage."

The BP article also points out that in April 2008, the Vermont Commission on Family Recognition and Protection** issued a report that fell short of legalizing gay “marriage” because they found four areas that needed more research and review. Two of these questions included:

  • What is the best science available today on the different impacts on children raised in different family structures?
  • What has been the experience of the Massachusetts lesbian and gay couples who have married under MA law?

Even though the Senate Judiciary spent a whole week discussing the bill. There was no attempt to answer these questions raised by the democrat commission. (Read full article here)

<>Ruby Eliot


*Oh wait, they did allow citizens to speak for one hour during a public hearing.

**The commission was made up of democrat leaders in the VT legislature.





  1. Hugh McBryde said,

    March 21, 2009 at 7:28 am

    As a Christian (that would be a fundy sort of Bible Believing Christian) in Vermont, why would I do this? We are the least religious state in the Union, so this sort of development is inevitable.

    Besides, I don’t want the state defining marriage anyway, and for way too long we’ve partnered with the state giving them a role in what we thought the definition of marriage was, and we’ve been derelict there. One example would be the unisexed “divorce for any cause” laws we have on the books. You don’t think THAT offends God?

    Besides we’re wrong about marriage anyway, since we insist it’s all about “couples” and judging from the testimony we see (shock) the “next” thing evil, this way coming, as being Polygamy.

    Where on God’s green earth did we get the idea that heterosexual polygamy was the next rung on the depravity ladder on to which we would slip? I’m sitting here watching my friends testify to their horror at the idea that “what’s next” would be “Polygamy!” and thinking “ALL the Kings of Israel and Judah, would be right at home.”

  2. rubyeliot said,

    March 21, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Hugh, I’m not sure what you are saying. Can you clarify?

    why would I do this?
    Do you mean call your governor or representative? or why would you support the redefinition of marriage?

  3. Hugh McBryde said,

    March 21, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    The definition of marriage is NOT, one man, one woman, ONLY. I agree that the attempt to define marriage as being something that can exist between man and a man, or a woman and a woman isn’t something I can support, but neither is the current law something I can support either.

    Government does not define marriage, God does. We have collectively allowed a number of assaults on marriage through custody laws and property distribution laws that currently surround the breakup of marriages. Now we get all up in arms because the state wants to say marriage can exist between a man and a man? We’re a little late to the table, for one thing.

    I favor the universal civil union approach with no limit on who can join the arrangement and the ability to write what amount to corporate bylaws and/or prenups that cover the religious view of marriage we may want to subscribe to.

    You can’t tell someone else how to behave in a practical sense, in society in general, so you should simply seek to have legal protection for your arrangements.

    Frankly I’d be happy with the change in the law if we just deleted one more word.


  4. rubyeliot said,

    March 21, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Hugh, you definitely have an interesting opinion. Thank you for the discussion.

    So you would be in favor of Polyamory relationships? (where everyone is married to each other).

    Polygamous relationships are still a marriage of a man and a woman. It just means that the man can be married to more than one woman at a time (but the women are not married to each other).

    I disagree that marriage is just a religious institution. Either way, government has an interest in recognizing it because it ensures the stability and growth of society.

    Because it is the fundamental unit of society, as members of society we have a right to decide how marriage will be defined in our community.

    All kids have a right to a mom and a dad– so I think its wise for society to stick to this definition.

    As for polygamy– it is interesting that so many people find it abhorrent even though, in the judeo christian tradition, it has a definite and important presence…the cultural and social constructs in our society would make it obviously awkard (i think), i think there is special danger of sexual abuse–considering our society’s obsession with women as sex objects.

    okay i’m rambling.

    thanks again for your clarification. your point of view really highlights the truth that if we begin re-defining marriage there are multiple people and groups who would like to also re-define it.

  5. Hugh McBryde said,

    March 21, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    No, I am not in favor of polyamory. Only polygyny in addition to monogamy and of course singleness.

    There is no suggestion, mandate, example or practice of marriage in the Bible that has government or the church involved in any way. The closest to it that the church comes is suggesting that certain marriages aren’t marriages, or shouldn’t occur. These are all after the fact evaluations.

    If you wish to see polygamy as a series of monogamous relationships that a man can theoretically have an unlimited number of and a woman can in only one of at a time, then I’m willing to see it that way. From my point of view that would be the definition of marriage. For public consumption it is simplest to say that I am in favor of polygyny, not polygamy and not polyamory.

  6. beetlebabee said,

    March 21, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Regardless of how you feel about marriage personally, the state of Vermont ought to give it’s citizens a say in their laws. Call a referendum! Californians can vote on laws… They should Let VT vote on marriage. Let the people speak! If they’re going to have to live with it, they might as well choose it.

    I find it interesting that the iron grip of the house and senate in Vermont is so absolute that they won’t even consider a referendum. If Vermont is such a liberal state, what are they afraid of?

  7. Hugh McBryde said,

    March 21, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    If they have a goal of passing it, and if they know they can, the only thing that will stop them is the clear message somehow that they will most likely be voted out of office in the next election cycle.

    Then they might put it to a referendum.

  8. Fran said,

    March 22, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    That’s right, people can vote on a lottery but not on civil rights. That’s because civil rights are not supposed to be subject to referendum, because the majority will always protect their own interests.

    If the majority could decide who can be deprived of rights, and were allowed to decide by mere vote, women would not have gained the vote. Blacks would still be riding the back of the bus. Races could not intermarry.

    Civil rights are not and should NEVER be left in the hands of a popular vote, period.

    Those of you who are believe religion should guide legislation, do remember that barely 50% of Americans are Christian. For all of the complaints of gays “forcing their lifestyle upon others” (can anyone provide evidence that anyone has been forced to be gay, forced to marry against their will?) people feel very free to decide that everyone should be forced to live according to the religious rules of a portion of the population.

    Oh yes, and one more thing: if your marriage is endangered by the fact that someone else can get married, your issues are at home not in the voting booth.

  9. verity mae said,

    March 22, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Bans on interracial marriage were about keeping two races apart so that one race could oppress the other. Marriage is about bringing two sexes together, so that children get the love of their own mom and a dad. Having a parent of two different races is just not the same as being deprived of your mother — or your father.

  10. beetlebabee said,

    March 22, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Fran, thanks for your comment, however, the definition of marriage has nothing to do with civil rights. This is a bigger question than whether or not two people of the same sex can be happy together. That selfish view only barely scratches the surface of the issues at stake. The real issues are about family, the purpose of marriage, and what is best for children, society and posterity. It doesn’t matter whether you are religious or not, studies clearly show that only a man and woman, united in marriage, committed to the family for life, can best provide what children need. It’s about a lot more than just two people.

    The assertions you make are all answered at length repeatedly on this site, however, to make it easy, here’s a link to the twist list:

    The people have the right and the responsibility to be educated on these issues and to make the choice for their state. It’s their children who will be affected.

  11. Hugh McBryde said,

    March 22, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Judging from the disorganized opposition and the lack of interest (blog hits from Vermont on my blog) I’d say no one really really cares.

    That’s unfortunate.

  12. beetlebabee said,

    March 22, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    It’s probably ignorance at play here. In California it took three months of knocking on doors, leafleting, advertising, and just plain talking to people, to educate them on the issues enough so that they could have an informed opinion. Otherwise the default position is what the emotion feeding media spoons out. Like Fran here, her information is all based on emotion, but without facts at play, her emotion is misplaced. Whipping everyone up into an emotional frenzy only serves the media’s best interests, not our children’s.

  13. March 23, 2009 at 1:00 am

    […] blogged about the Vermont marriage situation here and here, but here is the latest […]

  14. March 23, 2009 at 1:49 am

    […] blogged about the Vermont marriage situation here and here, and most recently […]

  15. Hugh McBryde said,

    April 9, 2009 at 6:21 am

    It looks like the next fight will be whether or not three people can marry each other at the same time.

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