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12/19/2007

VT marriage hearings: Now with less condemnation!

by Jeremy Hooper

Vt-1Last night in Montpelier, VT, a reported "packed room" of gay supporters turned out to a public hearing to voice their support for marriage equality in the Green Mountain State. And while you might assume that this means busloads of anti-gays also turned out to make their opinions known, this particular public hearing was actually shockingly differnt. Why? Well, because during the entire two hour appeal to the Vermont Commission on Family Recognition and Protection, not a single anti-gay personality was said to have spoken against the idea of bumping up the state's currently legal civil unions system to full nuptial parity:

Packed room supports gay marriage [Times Argus]

So why did the anti-gay voices choose to sit this one out? Surely even in this blue state, there are still several social conservatives who think two dudes tying a knot would turn the state into a cesspool of immorality. So where were they? Were they just too into "Clash of the Choirs" to tear themselves away from the boob tube? Did the "War on Christmas" have them otherwise preoccupied? Or is it that they've finally accepted that marriage equality is an inevitable, and have begun to consider that perhaps they shouldn't be trying to use their personal faith beliefs to define acceptable relationships for the entire state or even nation?

Eh, whatever the reason, thanks for not wasting the commission's time with false "sanctity of marriage" claims, opposition. We promise to return the favor by not spending even another second protesting your marriages. Oh wait a minute, that's right -- we've never been so bold as to do that in the first place!

*SEE ALSO: Vermont Public Radio has an interview with Tom Little, chairman of the Commission on Family Recognition.

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Your thoughts

I actually went one of these panels a few months ago, and there was only one opponent who spoke out. He actually spoke first. He pretty much repeated the phrases "you are gonna lose" and "you will always lose" and "teenagers can get married now" and "all serial killers are gay" over and over again before he stormed out. Every other speaker was for gay marriage, or at least for the duration that I was there.

As I see it, there are quite a few social conservatives here, but there's little in the way of an organized anti-gay movement. I live in a small rural town in Northern Vermont, and I still don't know why I fear for my life should everyone in town know that I'm gay. There's still this sort of macho attitude everywhere in spite of the majority of us being liberal Democrats.

Posted by: R. | Dec 19, 2007 11:14:57 AM

R: Good to hear that that these hearings are being filled with reason rather than rhetoric.

As for the internalized fears -- well, unfortunately none of us have grown up in an America that is gay-accepting. And even in the bluest of states, there is often still that fear. It's sad, but at least we seem to once again be headed in the right direction (despite the past 7 or so years of roadblocks.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Dec 19, 2007 11:28:57 AM

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