Marriage equality in New England

At 11 AM in our statehouse, I'll be speaking on behalf of the Maine chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics in support of LD1020, which would grant equal marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples in Maine. (I am thrilled that the chapter has endorsed this bill, and that I have the privilege of speaking for it.) I will post the statement after I get back this afternoon.

I've also been distributing postcards to friends and co-workers, to be sent to their legislators, urging them to support the measure. I don't know where it stands right now with regard to votes, but I know it will be very close. It has been heartening to find people around me that support marriage equality, when I would have guessed otherwise.

On that note, I'm interested to see what happens in Vermont. It's a bluer state than Maine, so the margin by which their gay marriage bill passed their Senate is unlikely to be duplicated. On the other hand, I feel pretty confident that Gov. Baldacci won't be saying anything moronic like this:

Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont said Wednesday that he would veto a same-sex marriage bill if it reached his desk, setting a new hurdle for a measure that had been moving swiftly through the legislature.

But Mr. Douglas, a Republican, also said that "legislative leaders would not have advanced this bill if they did not have the votes to override a veto."

The issue of marriage equality, the governor said, "diverts attention from our most pressing issues," which is why he announced his intention to veto the bill.

Because the government of Vermont can only handle one issue at a time, it seems.

As Steve Benen mentions, the governor of Vermont can't very well veto a piece of legislation on the grounds that he just doesn't like gay people. Or that he needs to toe the party line. So he has to advance a line of claptrap that a veto threat is the best way to avoid distractions like gay rights. Apparently, he thinks the people of his state are supportive of gay marriage, but stupid.

[A little housekeeping note -- I'm not really in the mood for snark regarding this particular issue. Thoughtful dissent is welcome, but taking the contrarian path out of habit is not. If you have a differing opinion, get your own blog. With that in mind, I will blithely delete comments I don't like. That is all.]

Update: Apparently I was not clear enough before. The discussion of legalized polygamy is closed.


  1. Just tell me what is not thoughtful about suggesting that the same arguments which argue for State recognition of same sex marriage do not apply to State recognition of group marriage and I'll stop. I'm absolutely serious. I'm not being snarky. And I really would like to understand your seeming unconcern when you clearly want others to support your right to have the marriage you choose.

  2. I have not actually said that similar arguments do not apply, John. I am simply not invested in arguing for the right of people to have group marriage. If you think that those who seek group marriage are an oppressed minority whose rights are being abrogated, then you frame an argument that supports group marriage as a social good.

    Being as it were that some people might consider equating gay marriage and polygamy a tactic whereby one links an increasingly accepted phenomenon with a less accepted one, and it thus comprises an effort to undermine support for the former, I am not enthused with continuing the discussion.

  3. great response Drdanny. Personally, I feel that requiring Mormons to give up plural marriage was an abrogation of their religious freedom, the same applies to Muslims. As long as there is no coercion involved, if people want group marriages than it is not my business. There is a public health issue involved, but as I think plural marriages would remain a thin slice of marriages, it is not large enough of an issue to deny its right to existence.