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March 25, 2009

Vermont Gov. to Veto Gay Marriage Bill

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas said he will veto a state bill to allow same-sex marriage if it makes it to his desk.

The Vermont state Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill earlier this week, and the House is expected to vote next week. Here's more from WCAX:

Montpelier_Vermont.jpg

The governor told reporters he doesn't typically announce his intentions like this so far ahead of time, but said he thinks it's the only way to stop speculation about what his move may be, to refocus lawmakers' attention on the state budget.

"I'm announcing I will veto this legislation when it reaches my desk," Douglas said.

Explaining same-sex marriage is a deeply personal issue that crosses political lines, Vermont's Republican governor said he will not sign a bill into law allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

"I believe marriage has always been and ought to remain the union of a man and a woman," Douglas said. "I believe the civil unions law has offered equal rights and benefits under state law to same-sex couples and that should suffice."

Comments

If the Vermont Senate has overwhelmingly approved of this bill, won't they just override the veto? Honestly, all a veto is going to do is make people angry. Like trying to kill a large funnel web spider with ant spray.

Gov. Jim Douglas is a coward...or something far worse.


Gregory Peterson said

"Gov. Jim Douglas is a coward...or something far worse"

How is opposing a bill that passed with a lot of popularity in the legislative branch an act of cowardice especially since the veto might be overturned?

You might not like his decision, you might even think it is criminal ... but you cannot call it an act of cowardice

The gay -marriage advocates need to stop trying to bully into submission those who dare disagreeing with them
This strategy (if it is not merely an unbridled expression of anger and frustration) can only backfire (and it should)

This is a Christian forum; consider your audience before making non-sequitur arguments that only hurt you cause (which is fine by me but I rather win on the merits of our case)

Creating laws based on religious beliefs is absolutely ridiculous in this day and age - we live in a world shaped by science, not superstition. Outlawing gay marriage is a throwback to the Middle Ages where religion ruled every aspect of life. If you want to live in a theocracy, then by all means, you're welcome to move to Saudi Arabia or Iran, but please do not force your beliefs on me (or anyone else, for that matter).

Far from being a coward, this governor is exhibiting a lot of courage, especially considering the fact that this is Vermont. He will be called all sorts of nasty names by immature, angry people with too much time on their hands.

Why do so many marriage re-definition activists not accept equal rights under the banner of civil unions? Clearly they have agendas other than civil rights. And they have a hugely disproportional influence on public policy.

Tracy, please do not force your beliefs on me.

How absurd and incredibly silly for liberal, non-Christian, God-hating people to spend so much time on a site devoted to the things of God and obeying the Lord's word, and then demand that those views not be "forced" on them! As for all of those who claim Scripture is out-dated and insist Christians (as well as Jesus) conform to the 21st century, remember that this world is GOD'S creation, not ours. This world is HIS to decide the rules and how it's run. Malachi 3:6 says, "For I am the Lord, I do not change; Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." You see? His commands are ALREADY up to date! You can thank Him for not "forcing" Himself on you; He's given you a choice - His way, or your way. Where you ultimately wind up will be based soley on the choice YOU make. If you regret YOUR way - don't blame Jesus!

Alison, I would never force my beliefs on you. I would never dream of creating a law to prevent people from practicing Christianity, even though I myself am not a practicing Christian. Nor would I put any of your beliefs to a popular vote. Why, then do others (including politicians) feel it necessary to interfere in the personal lives of law abiding, tax paying citizens? Again, I would never dream of interfering in your life - all I ask is that you afford me the same respect.

It's obvious that many sodomites and Lesbians will no longer be satisfied with the fairness provided by civil unions. They seek domination. Of course the GLBT is seeking same rights for bisexual and transgender citizens. The GLBT does not openly advocate such rights for polygamists and those women practicing poly andre(sp?), but how could these groups be denied. Hopefully sane citizens will put an end to this tragic nonsense with an admendment to the Federal Constitution. gene

Gregory said “The Gov. has proven himself to be morally and intellectually bankrupt”
Tracy said “Creating laws based on religious beliefs is absolutely ridiculous in this day and age - we live in a world shaped by science, not superstition… but please do not force your beliefs on me (or anyone else, for that matter).”
They both appear to be atheists of sorts, what is surprising is that they express moral outrage at what they consider to be “moral bankruptcy” and injustice, while telling us about what should be (freedom for gays to marry) and what should not be (opposition to their desire to do so)
However, since they reject theism and in this case God’s Word and existence, they have no valid basis for their moral claims. I will not use the moral argument to prove the existence of God, I will use it to assert that atheists have no basis to make moral claims, they are free to speak about what they do not like (they are merely preferences or taste like mint ice-cream)
In the absence of a source of morality external to and superior to humans, there is no valid basis for morality
Who decides what is ridiculous or wrong and why should others care?
If you claim that society decides what is moral then you have it CA just did that
If it is the powerful that decides, you still have it, the Gov just did it
When you remove God from the equation, you not only remove God’s laws, but you also remove any right to claim that you or anyone else is being wronged (you still have the freedom to complain about it, but you should not expect anyone to care in a relativistic world). In the end you get more than you bargained for
You cannot have you cake and eat it

Yes we can - have compassion with young people who are attracted to the same sex. Yes we can - feel sorry for a young girl, who has to interrupt studies, because she fell pregnant.
But no, we can't as a society MAKE LAWS to live by which go against God's principles: Eg. 'A man shall not lay as with a woman' or 'though shalt not kill'.
God loves all people, which doesn't mean HE agrees with their bad choices. Sadly, we reap that which we have sown.
Governor Douglas must be congratulated for standing firm on godly principles, despite strong opposition. America needs more such leaders and lawmakers who sow GOOD seed.

The hateful, divisive, unbalanced and incredibly distorted rhetoric about Billy Graham is really over the top. Does this writer have no shame?

These are the types of people who nowadays aspire to political power, not to promote peace and love but to propagate their own brand of hateful intolerance. The anger expressed is really typical of someone who has issues that far transcend the immediate subject matter.

"God loves all people, which doesn't mean HE agrees with their bad choices."

Mr. Fischer, being gay or lesbian is no more a choice than being heterosexual is. Did you wake up one morning and proclaim to the world that from this point forward you were going to be heterosexual? Sexual orientation is not a choice!

And please take a look at this excert from the Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy:

The term “morality” can be used either

1. descriptively to refer to a code of conduct put forward by a society or,
1. some other group, such as a religion, or
2. accepted by an individual for her own behavior or
2. normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.

In other words, religion does not have a monopoly on the concept of morality. In many cases, it is subjective based on one's culture (and, yes, religion), but overall, humans are in agreement that certain things are either right or wrong - murdering one's mother, for example. Homosexuality is or has been accepted in many cultures, and condemned in others. To my way of thinking, morality has nothing to do with who one loves - it has more to do with who and what one hates. If I ask myself some serious questions (for example, did I hurt anyone today? Did I help someone in need? Did refrain from killing? Did I try to be compassionate?) and can answer in the affirmative, than I can take comfort in knowing I am walking the path of morality. I may stray every now and then, but for the most part, I'm doing well. If I should fall in love with someone of the same gender, it's no one's business but my own. If I murder that person, well, then it become's society's business. In any event, don't we need more love in the world? I find it ironic that people who support wars overseas (where many are tortured and lose their lives) are so adamantly opposed to two consenting adults expressing their love for one another. We are obviously still evolving as a society.

Congratulations Governor Douglas.
By the way, how did this article on "Vermont Gov. to Veto Gay Marriage Bill" switch to an attack on Billy Graham?
Oh and it's great that non-Christians are reading the materials on Christianity Today. KEEP READING, you will soon find your way home.

Non-Christians are reading the materials on Christianity Today for one reason only: it's impossible to have a civilized debate about an issue without understanding your opponent's point of view.

Apparently it's still NOT possible for some to have a civilized debate even it they supposedly are trying to understand an opposing point of view.

Moral laws can certainly be arrived at without reference to a particular religion, but people of faith believe God is behind all true moral laws, many of which have been codified in various religious scriptures.

C.S. Lewis has a good discussion of this in "Mere Christianity." He argues that moral precepts show remarkable similarities across cultural boundaries. One of these is the sanctity of traditional marriage. Belief in the primacy of traditional marriage is the product of many components and thought systems, including what may be termed "natural law," and not just some narrow minded religous viewpoint.

You can arrive at this conclusion without hating gay people and even without a strong adherence to a particular religion.

Tracy,

If you want to have an informed and intelligent discussion with Christians concerning the issue, you need to have a clear epistemological basis for the discussion and show why your moral values are not merely preferences

You have described the basis for your personal moral system, but you are not shown why, in a world where there is supposedly no God and moral absolute, anyone should adopt your moral code (see my post above)

You said ", but overall, humans are in agreement that certain things are either right or wrong - murdering one's mother, for example. Homosexuality is or has been accepted in many cultures, and condemned in others …To my way of thinking, morality has nothing to do with who one loves ... If I should fall in love with someone of the same gender, it's no one's business but my own"

What is wrong then with the "culture" of CA defining gay marriage as not acceptable?

Who decides what society’s business is if not society itself? (According to your own worldview)

Why are you trying to impose your concept of morality on others, especially since you stated "I would never force my beliefs on you"?

What if people have a different "way of thinking" why should they abandon theirs to follow yours since in the end morality is cultural and relative?

Why should this be any different than a discussion about ice-cream flavors?
You cannot appeal to human worth (since science that you value so much as no way to confer worth to human that are just more evolved than other animals )

What is the basis for your morality and why should others accept that?

You will soon discover that without moral absolutes, it is impossible to make a claim based on morality especially when the culture, the majority, or the most powerful do not share the same values

"You can arrive at this conclusion without hating gay people and even without a strong adherence to a particular religion."

Thank you, Truthmeister - that was very well put.

"Why are you trying to impose your concept of morality on others, especially since you stated "I would never force my beliefs on you"?

What if people have a different "way of thinking" why should they abandon theirs to follow yours since in the end morality is cultural and relative?"

Mr. Maashe,

I am not trying to impose my concept of morality on others - if you don't feel that homosexuality is acceptable, that is your belief, and you are absolutely welcome to believe that. I am not encouraging you to abandon your way of thinking, either - the problem is not with people's beliefs, the problem is with people trying to create laws that affect the lives of others based on these beliefs. How would you feel if communism was instituted in this country, and as a result, something that was so central to your being was outlawed (I speak here of your religion)? Laws exist to protect everyone, not just "the majority". If the majority believe that something is wrong, why then, it must be so! Well, guess what, there was a time when the majority of people in this country believed that the slavery of Africans was the natural order of things. Now we know better.

So once again, the problem is not with what people believe, it is with the creation of laws based on those beliefs - which not everyone shares. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say - I mean no disrespect. I know your faith is important to you.

i am consistently amazed at the near "rabid" responses of pro-gay marriage groups. they Cry "freedom" and "separation of church and state".. Moral degradation.. that we would be.. "BIGOTS" against their desired change in the 5000 years of laws.. ONE man, ONE Woman, in many countries.. even many many NON Christian countries that have defined marriage as ONE man.. one Woman. HOW Dare "we" go against their sudden desired CHANGES to moral value? Marriage has nearly always been a religious thing.. state recognized.. but largely "religious". if this were only a freedom thing.. and not an attack against CHURCHS.. then they should feel great about the BONDING services.. and partnerships they have already.. but ITS NOT ENOUGH.. they MUST ATTACK the roots.. of all "Christian ethical standards" and say.. OUR WAY.. or NO WAY.
its oppressive.. rabid.. Far from science.. far from rational. LEAVE OUR CHURCH RITES ALONE! you want to JOIN a church? JOIN it.. meaning YOU become LIKE THEM.. not the other way around.
or do you just want to DICTATE to us all.. how it's gonna be? HITLER did that too.

Oh, this whole controversy would be avoided if states stopped issuing marriage licenses, stuck to civil unions, and left marriage up to religious organizations.
But I doubt that's ever going to happen.

And another blog succumbs to angry ranters... sigh...

Tracy, I'm sorry, but that is exactly what you are trying to do. You are trying to make me say that something is OK when my Christian convictions say that it is not.

Alison, how can I make you understand that there is a very big difference between you and the government? YOU have every right to believe what you believe (and no one has the right to force you to change those beliefs), but the GOVERNMENT (which represents EVERYONE) does not have the right to enact legislation based on the religious beliefs of one segment of society. You may argue that the majority of Americans are Christians, but not all of them believe that gays and lesbians should not be allowed to marry. And those Americans who are adherents of other religions would probably consider the enactment of laws based on Christian beliefs to be an attack on their own beliefs. We would be much better off making marriage a CIVIL institution so that everyone would be able to enjoy all of the rights and benefits not afforded by civil unions. And if couples choose to get married in a church, so be it. That is their decision. The only way to solve this is to keep church and state separate, as they were meant to be (although many of you will disagree with me on that).

Tracy, I understand what you are saying. I just disagree. Let's leave it at that.

Separation of church and state would protect and preserve our rights on both sides of this issue.
The church (or any non-governmental organization) should have the right to determine who qualifies for religious blessings or ceremonial recognition of a union without any interference from the state.
The state's responsibility is to guarantee civil legal equality for all citizens requesting a marriage contract to be filed with the state, regardless of religious affiliation, gender, or orientation.
The state should offer the legal contract of marriage to any two persons wishing to enter into such a contract. The church (or non-governmental organization) should offer the ecclesiastical or ceremonial blessings and community recognition of a matrimonial union to whomever they choose.
Separation of church and state, if followed, would have avoided this situation in the first place. If we would separate these functions of society, the issue of religious vs. legal would be a mute point.