Friday, January 9, 2009
Nine years ago the American state of Vermont was embroiled in a bitter battle over civil unions. Now Vermont could be the next state to allow same sex couples to form a marriage. Senator John Campbell, D-Quechee, has introduced a bill that would do just that. It also grants religious institutions the right to deny performing the marriages.
The Senator introduced a similar bill last legislative session. It led to the creation of the Vermont Commission on “Family Recognition and Protection,” a group tasked with holding hearings across the state and creating a report for lawmakers on whether the public supports same sex marriage and whether it is needed.
But serious allegations have been made by prominent citizen Stephen Cable that the commission is biased in favor of “gay marriage.” The commission heard overwhelming support for “gay marriage” – but few, and sometimes no, voices supported traditional marriage. Cable said he decided to boost his efforts to stop “gay marriage” in Vermont after watching members of the commission question Monte Stewart, the president of the “Marriage Law Foundation.” During a hearing at the Vermont Law School last year, Stewart was the only attorney speaking that day who opposed “gay marriage.”
Several prominent supporters of traditional marriage will soon announce the formation of the “Vermont Marriage Advisory Council,” a group that will hold hearings on the benefits of traditional marriage. The council will be holding forums to promote the social goods that come with the institution of marriage.
It is hoped that the VMAC will be able to provide a more balanced view on the issues relating to same sex marriage.
Another traditional marriage group “Take It to the People” will also become more active in the debate this year. Craig Bensen of Cambridge, said he plans to launch an effort called “Let Vermont Vote.” A push to put a non binding referendum on “gay marriage” before the state's voters in November. Placing the question on the statewide ballot would require a vote of the Vermont Legislature in this new session. "If lawmakers really want to know how Vermont feels about this issue, they should support that effort," he said. "Voters have never had the opportunity to weigh in on this debate," Bensen said. "All the decisions regarding same-sex couples have come from legislators and court justices."
Governments protect the natural right to marriage, they do not create new rights such as endorsing a civil union between same sex couples and then calling it marriage.
The definition of marriage between one man and one women, acknowledges the truth that men and women make babies; men and women and their babies make families. To acknowledge that observable reality does not detract from the legal freedom to make a different "lifestyle choice."
Links to similar articles
Vermont: Call to Defend Traditional Marriage
Kinfisher Will Vermont Be the Next To Legalese Same Sex Marriage?