I was feeling pessimistic when I wrote this morning of the vote today in Vermont on whether to override the veto of marriage equality. I’ll admit that I’ve come to have more trust in the darker, ungenerous side of people’s personalities.
Vermont’s legislature has proved me wrong, at least for today. How nice it is to be wrong.
The Vermont House just voted 100 to 49 in favor of overturning the veto of marriage equality legislation by Governor Jim Douglas. The Vermont Senate voted to overturn the veto 23 to 5.
Same sex couples can now marry in Vermont, as they can in Iowa, and Connecticut and Massachusetts. These are small states, but they are important in the way that the demonstrate how a strong society can respect the rights of minority groups while keeping the rights of the majority intact. These states show that the Religious Right’s warnings of an end to heterosexual marriage are bunk. We all can live in liberty together, even if our families are not all the same.
More states now need to step up and join Vermont. California, you’re behind Iowa, for goodness sakes. Are your trendsetting days so far behind you?
Beyond the states, however, there is the problem of federal discrimination. The guarantee of equality under the law comes from the Constitution of the United States, and so marriage equality isn’t something that ought to rest upon the states to solve.
Sadly, President Obama has taken the wrong position. He’s stood with the policies of the past, and opposed the legalization of same-sex marriage. Americans who believe in equality need to start putting pressure on Obama, and tell him clearly, Marriage Equality? Yes We Can.