Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Ring the Equality Bell Four Times

It's moral. It's right. It's fair. It's humane. It's American. It's the law.

Vermont's legislature did the right thing while I was at the gym. I left with the video showing mundane bill shuffling on education and other important matters, but they seemed no hurry to get to S.115, same-sex marriage.

I had predicted and hoped for a narrow victory from lawmakers switching from opposition for just not showing up. If the whole House showed for the override vote, the equality side would need 100 votes to overrule the emotional and reactionary Gov. Jim Douglas' veto. Well, one rep did not show, but the good guys edged into the marriage-equality garage with little room to spare, 100 to 49. Earlier this morning, the Senate had gone 23 to 5 to override (20 required there).

Of course, much will be made about Vermont being the first state to do this by legislature. California did twice, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it twice...and they didn't have the votes to put him away.

To me, court decision, popular vote, representative democracy by legislature are all the same. Vermont has joined Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa in the equality club.

A video of the House vote appears on the Burlington Free Press site. They've had Pulitzer-class coverage of this battle.

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