Update on the Vermont same-sex marriage vote from Beetle Blogger: state senators approved S. 115, which replaces civil unions and traditional marriage with gender-neutral marriages across the board, by a 26-4 vote this afternoon.
What's next: the bill goes now to a House committee for approval before heading to the full House for a vote later this week. Although Gov. Jim Douglas has said he's against same-sex marriage, he hasn't indicated whether he'll sign or veto the bill, according to 365gay.com.
What this means: If Vermont lawmakers approve same-sex marriage, the state will be the first in the country to legalize gay nuptials through legislative means and not through litigation in court.
As a rule of thumb, I always worry when legislators take power into their own hands that is not granted to them in the state or nation's founding documents. I can appreciate the state-to-state distinctions of federalism, but if in California the pro-gay marriage contingent argued (unsuccessfully, but still) that reverting from same-sex marriage to traditional marriage was such a radical, drastic change that it should have been handled with a referendum, not an amendment.
(Honestly, I never bought that logic, because then wouldn't the courts have been overstepping their bounds by shooting down Prop. 22? Anyways...)
The people of Vermont should have in what their legislators do. After all, it's the people's vote that put them in this position of power in the first place. Are you a Vermonter? Do you agree or disagree with what your representatives are doing?
Make your voice heard, Vermont!
You can track down your local representatives via The State of Vermont Legislature online. Go here to look up your local representative or state senator.
If you want to hear what's going on, tune into the proceedings online via Vermont Public Radio.