Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Now VERMONT!!!! And why this is more significant than Iowa

I've been in meetings all day and just signed on to see a truly marvelous event: The Vermont Legislature voted to override the governor's veto and legalize same-sex marriage.

This is even more important -- at least from a political point of view -- than last week's Iowa Supreme Court ruling. Vermont marks the first time lawmakers, and not judges, have instituted same-sex marriage. Even more significantly, the Vermont Legislature had to get super majorities to do it.

Four states now allow love to create a marriage. These are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa and Vermont. The Washington, DC, City Council just voted to recognize marriage in other states, although this could get derailed by Congress.

Here's some of the early comment.

GLAAD rounds up reports from the mainstream media, blogosphere and LGBT organizations.

Marc Ambinder
Opponents of gay marriage have been fearing this very day for years. They're going to have to change the way they respond to the issue because they can no longer argue (only) that courts are imposing gay marriage by fiat.
Also from Ambinder, an interview with Dennis Johnson, the lead co-counsel for the winning side in Iowa.

Andrew Sullivan rounds up reaction.

Rod Dreher, who opposes marriage equality, forsees a politically logical (but for me scary) future:
It is increasingly obvious that the US Supreme Court is going to have to rule on this matter soon. It is an untenable situation for a same-sex couple to be married in Vermont and Massachusetts and Iowa, but not in Texas, Nevada and Montana. I believe SCOTUS will constitutionalize gay marriage, and that being the case, it might be better for my side if it gets done sooner rather than later. If done sooner, there might still be enough backlash left in the American people to get a constitutional amendment passed erecting a high barrier or protection around religious institutions.
John Nichols at The Nation:
Vermont activists proved that it is not just the "activist judges" that social conservatives condemn who are advancing the cause of equality. With sufficient organizing, educating and campaigning, same-sex marriage can win broad political support. Indeed, at the close of the struggle in Vermont, newspapers across the state were editorializing in favor of the legislation and polls showed that 58 percent of Vermonters tended to favor allowing LGBT couples to marry.
Local responses via Green Mountain Daily.

Ellen Anderson:
The bigger part of my internal shakes at the moment comes from the awesome impact of having my common humanity recognized by my government.
AmericaBlog echoes my feelings.
Holy crap. This is huge.

1 comment:

Nancy Jane Moore said...

You're right: the Vermont action is huge. And given the current state of the things, I'd bet the current conservative Supreme Court will duck the issue -- I don't think they can find a way to toss the Iowa Supreme Court action, which is based on state law, but I also don't think they'll decide to push the rest of the states into approving gay marriage. Also, I don't think the votes exist -- even with backlash -- to pass a nationwide constitutional amendment.

This is how change happens in this country -- slow and late, but it happens.