Monday, January 19, 2009

To the Editor

Vermont was the first state in the US to have Civil Unions for gay couples. Now, some eight years later, we're hoping to put a full marriage bill before the governor this legislative session. Whether he signs it, vetoes it, or lets it pass into law without his signature remains his choice (Governor Douglas has said that CUs are adequate), but we're hoping he will choose to be on the right side of history. Many of us have been writing letters to the editor, opinion pieces, and making other grassroots efforts to make sure that our push for equality is felt by as many people as possible. Vermont Freedom to Marry is a great place to learn more. One of my letters to the editor appeared in today's Rutland Herald:

Gay marriage good for Vermont

Some people believe that homosexuality is wrong. That is their right. Some religious institutions do not allow marriage ceremonies for gay couples. That is their right. People also have the right to hold racist and sexist views. It is widely understood, however, that these views should not be the basis for laws.

In 1999, the Vermont Supreme Court unanimously concluded that gay and straight couples are entitled to the same benefits and protections under the law. In Vermont, it is no longer a question of whether gay people deserve equality: we do. The question is whether civil unions, a compromise legislation, provide it: they don't. Dividing couples into separate categories is inherently discriminatory. The only justification for it is to imply that one type of love is superior to another, one type of human being superior to another.

Gov. Douglas believes that revisiting the marriage issue is divisive. What's divisive is the current law, one which divides people into first- and second-class citizens. Civil unions were a first positive step towards full marriage equality. In the past eight years, the majority of Vermonters have come to understand that the fear surrounding civil unions was unfounded. Equality threatens no one. It doesn't hurt the economy. (Marriage equality will likely benefit Vermont's economy.) The groundwork has been laid for marriage. It's neither complicated nor a distraction. Rather, it's an opportunity for Vermont, and its legislators, to further demonstrate our belief that all citizens are created equal.


Anonymous said...

My....My.........MY........MR. BIG E! SUCH rabble rousing you are doing in your flannels standing in those VT snow banks! LOL KEEP IT UP! Loved the letters, both in the RH and BFP! Hugs to you both!!!
M and K in KY! LOL

place in sun said...

Thanks, M! I've decided to keep warm by ranting this winter. :-)

Best to you and yours in KY. (Loved the Xmas card and letter.)