Vermont Republican governor Jim Douglas’s decision to veto the state legislature’s impending bill permitting gay marriage has been taken by the bill’s supporters, including the Burlington Free Press, as some kind of violation of legislative due process, a bombshell defacing the gentle lawmaking landscape of the Green Mountain State. Sure, it’s a departure for Douglas to announce an intent to veto prior to a bill’s passage, but so what? The notable thing about his announcement, in the world of national anti-gay marriage discourse, is its lack of “the end of civilization as we know it” rhetoric, its appeal for civility:
For those on either side of the vote to sternly judge the other’s
morality and conscience is the only true intolerance in this debate and
is a disservice to all Vermonters. I have Republican friends who will
vote for this bill and Democratic friends who will vote against — and
regardless of their vote, they will still be my friends and have my
respect when this issue is resolved…
I respect the passionate opinions of individuals on both sides of this
debate and hope that when the Legislature makes their decision,
whatever the outcome may be, we can move our state forward, toward a
bright future for our children and grandchildren.
Call me a sap, but I think that’s pretty nice.