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04/21/2008

Pro-gay VT: The future's so bright, opponents must throw shade

by Jeremy Hooper

Vt-4Today in Vermont, the 11-person government commission that has been studying same-sex marriage will reveal whether they think the state should stick with its current civil unions law or bump the state up to full marriage equality. And while we on the pro-gay side can't be 100% sure what the body will recommend, one person who certainly seems to think that the decision come down on the side of fairness for all is Focus on the Family's Jenny Tyree, who says the following:

I fully expect the commission to recommend that Vermont's marriage laws be completely changed to gratify the desires of a small percentage of its citizens,” ... “Vermont voters should be paying attention to the legislators who would change the definition of marriage and family for their children and grandchildren.”

And you know what? We couldn't agree more! Vermont voters should absolutely be paying attention to those lawmakers who are in favor of guiding our nation to a progressive, more equitable future. After all, Vermont is known for being fair-minded, and we're sure that the majority of Green Mountain Staters would want to disconnect themselves from the legacy-tarnishing, discriminatory albatross that is anti-gay bias. Most Vermonters will surely want legislators who know that even though the Christian right has tried to hijack certain rights and benefits for only their side, the guarantees of freedom are actually applicable to tax-paying Americans of every faith and sexual orientation. So everyone please do as Ms. Tyree has asked and pay attention to what is going on in this co-called "culture war." What you will find just might change your mind about who is truly "pro-family," "pro-life," and "pro-marriage."

But ya know, it is truly telling how folks like Jenny Tyree always make a point of noting the size of the gay community, as if our relatively small percentages lessen our right to liberty and justice. They, the side who claims to be all about "No Child Left Behind" and other such non-decamping ideas, are more than willing to throw gay folks off the life raft! And they try and make it sound as if government officials are out of line when they use their powers to protect vulnerable communities of people, when the truth is that these officials have a responsibility to shore up equality for those who may not enjoy the effortless safety that can be found in numbers. The compassion on which the "pro-family" side prides itself is completely tossed aside when looking at gay families, as such would diminish the effects of their campaigns of stigmatization. So they write us off as a "small, fringe" group of radicals out to redefine society for the "general public" (a group of which we are usually presented as not being part).

Well, we admit it: We gays are a smaller community. But we're scrappy. We're loud and vocal because we have to be heard. And we're out to change laws because the laws that exclude our lives and our families are BROKEN! We certainly hope that the VT commission will do the right thing, as we encourage every single official in this country to stand up for what's right. But regardless of their findings, it will not change our message. We will continue to push for decency in every sect of society, because we are a group who likes to be treated -- wait for it, wait for it, wait for it -- DECENTLY!

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Your thoughts

Well said.

They speak of an agenda for a small portion of the populace while promoting "its" agenda while the christian right has based its platform on a sectarian reading of scripture that most Americans don't subscribe too.. Fascinating...

While our argument is based on equal application of the law, theres is based on religious interpretation: we stand on firm ground, they do not.

Anywya, please keep up the good work!

Posted by: Rick | Apr 21, 2008 10:31:42 AM

Seconded... loudly... and decently. Let's see what they do?

Now I am muddled, isn't it New Jersey or Conn.. ?? who are doing the same thing?

Posted by: LOrion | Apr 21, 2008 11:40:32 AM

LOrion: New Jersey also has a commission in place to study the efficacy of the currently-legal civil unions.

I don't think there's a similar committee in place in CT. However, there is a case before the courts trying to bump C.U.s up to full marriage, and the issue has also been up before the state legislature's joint judiciary committee (who has passed a same-sex marriage bill, but it's never been put to a full vote of the legislature).

Posted by: G-A-Y | Apr 21, 2008 11:45:30 AM

From everything i have read, it appears VT will recommend marriage equality. As for whether the legislature follows, I have no clue. *fingers crossed*

http://www.queersunited.blogspot.com

Posted by: queerunity | Apr 21, 2008 12:05:34 PM

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