Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Why the Vermont Veto of Gay "Marriage" will be overriden (UPDATED).

Vermont Public Radio has an analysis of the upcoming veto override vote in the Vermont State House. The Senate has overriden the veto 23-5 as expected according to the Times-Argus.
"Backers of the bill need 100 votes today in the House to override the governor's veto. Middlebury College political science professor emeritus Eric Davis thinks there are several things have to happen for supporters to reach this total.

First, he says the 5 Republicans who voted for the bill last week need to support the override motion.

Davis thinks this will happen because, unlike other override votes in recent years, the Governor has made a conscious decision not to pressure the Republicans to support his veto..."
This means the Governor is walking the tightrope of trying to have it both ways. It's like he's saying "Stop, or I'll write nasty letters" as opposed to "Stop, or I'll shoot." For the moralistic Republican Crowd (which in general I would have to identify myself with) this amounts to a sop and a real chance. A sop in the sense that he's not fully behind it. It's not like the Governor is going to go out and strong arming party members to hold the line. It's a real chance in that anything can happen. I have been given numerous examples of Democrat/Liberal legislative posturing in this state's recent past that has bills brought to the floor, only to flop in embarrassing ways. This is Vermont, not DC.

Vermont's moralists do in fact stand a chance of holding onto enough votes to uphold the veto. I doubt they will do so if they do nothing, and it's by no means a sure thing that the can sustain the veto if they turn up the heat full blast, but they have a chance. If though certain Democrats opposed to the bill initially, and Republicans, change their votes, it will be because of the window dressing of slightly "substantive" improvements to the bill.
"Bennington Senator Dick Sears - the chairman of the Judiciary Committee - explained that there were only a few changes between this version and one that cleared the Senate last month. Sears said one change made it absolutely clear that religious institutions are not obligated to support same sex marriages.
'(Sears) For example, a same sex couple who wants to get married under our new version wants to use the Knights of Columbus hall. This would allow the Knights of Columbus to say no.' "
This sets the stage for departures from Governor Douglas' unenthusiastic veto of SB-115 and for him to have it both ways. He will be remembered by Moralists as being the man who stood by Traditional Marriage. He hopes that GLBT types will forgive him as doing what he had to do and because it's a long time until his next reelection campaign, sorta like Senator Max Bauchus of Montana voting against the gun lobby right after he was elected a few years back. He was right. By the time he was up for reelection, people had forgiven or forgotten.

The House is debating the Veto right now, and until it is over, you can listen HERE. One of the debate points being made is that the issue will keep coming back, until it passes. The Vermont House overrode the veto, 100-49 as noted above.

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