The voters of Vermont passed a proposition to outlaw same-sex marriages. So their supreme court overturned this and demanded that the legislature implement a program that gave sodomites a "civil right" to same-sex marriages. And did the legislature say "not just NO, but hel. NO"? No, they passed such a law.
People in Vermont don't seem so smart. A casual peek at their SAT Math score of 471, which is 116 points lower than Iowa but a mere 26 points higher than anchorman Washington, DC, suggests a problem here. Vermonters can't blame their poor academic standing on blacks, because blacks make up only 0.5% of their population, which is a quarter as many as in Iowa. Only Montana and Maine have a fewer percent of blacks, but Montana scores 45 points higher than Vermont. They must not be able to talk and read so well either, because their SAT Verbal score is also dismal. At 426, it is a mere 21 points higher than Washington, DC, but 53 points lower than Iowa.A population which can't read and do math certainly can't be expected to understand why sodomy has been unlawful in every successful culture since Hammurabi's time, can it?In other words, Vermont cannot be considered a moral authority in this crusade against the family.
What Is a Civil Union?
Same-sex marriage legislation in the U.S.
by Ricco Villanueva Siasoco
THE VERMONTSenate and House have voted to enact into law a bill recognizing civil unions between gay or lesbian couples. Building on a state Supreme Court decision last December, the groundbreaking bill grants the same rights and benefits to same-sex couples as married couples.
The Vermont bill is notable not only for its progressive agenda, but because it stands in stark contrast to the anti-gay marriage laws of more than 32 states and the federal government.
Why Marriage isn't a Civil Union, and Vice Versa
The union of same-sex couples has created a great deal of controversy on moral and philosophical grounds. But separate from these perspectives, the controversy has created a sticking point for the state: Can a couple of the same sex be married?
In the eyes of the state, the definition of marriage is the legal union of a man and a woman. Married couples are entitled to rights and protections in areas such as medical care, adoption, and taxes. If a husband or wife falls ill, for example, the spouse is often entitled to make the necessary medical decisions.
Vermont's legislators, seeking to protect the legal institution of marriage, adopted a different term"civil union"to apply to same-sex unions. As E. J. Graff, author of What is Marriage For?, recently wrote in The Advocate, the leading gay and lesbian news magazine, "The Vermont [Supreme Court] opinion elegantly peeled off that contentious verbal wrappermarriage, with all its veil-trailing, bell-ringing associationsto expose the hundreds upon hundreds of civil rights and obligations that pulse just underneath."
Passage in Vermont, Concessions in 32 States
On the other side of the country, Californiawith an eighth of the United States populationrecently voted against gay unions. Proposition 22, which bans legal recognition of same-sex unions, was passed by California voters on March 7, 2000. The law ensures that most state benefits of married couples are not extended to same-sex couples.
California is not alone. In total, 32 states have passed similar legislation. In 2000, however, several states have defeated bills that would have banned state benefits for same-sex unions, including Mississippi, New Hampshire, and New Mexico.
Hawaii the First State to Raise the Issue
Vermont was not the first state to attempt such socially progressive legislation. In 1993, two men in Hawaii applied for a marriage license and were denied. The couple brought their case, Baehr v. Miike, to Hawaii's Supreme Court, which ruled in May 1993 that the denial of the license was equivalent to discriminationa violation of the state's constitution.
In 1998, the Hawaii legislature took up the issue. The debate continued over a constitutional amendment to bar same-sex marriages and render the courts' ruling null and void. In the end, legislators passed the anti-gay marriage amendment, and sent a clear statement to the rest of the nation.
The Federal Defense of Marriage Act
Recent state activity may have been affected by a clear message from Congress in 1996. The Defense of Marriage Act was passed that year and signed into law by President Clinton. DOMA, as it has come to be known, officially barred federal benefits to same-sex partners.
Vermont's civil unions bill has one last hurdlesignature by Governor Howard Dean. If signed as promised, the measures could be enacted as early as the summer of 2000.