MONTPELIER, Vt. – Republican Governor Jim Douglas surprised no one Tuesday when he vetoed a bill that would have granted same-sex couples the right to marry .in Vermont
“This legislation does not address the inequalities espoused by proponents,” the governor said in a veto statement issued late in the day, after the Senate voted in favor of the bill.
The bill passed in the House last week with a vote of 95-52.
“Regardless of whether the term ‘marriage’ is applied, federal benefits will still be denied to same-sex couples in Vermont,” the statement continued. “And states that do not recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions will also deny state rights and responsibilities to same-sex couples married in Vermont. This bill will not change that fact.
“Vermont’s civil union law has afforded the same state rights, responsibilities and benefits of marriage to same-sex couples. Our civil union law serves Vermont well, and I would support congressional action to extend those benefits at the federal level to states that recognize same-sex unions. But I believe that marriage should remain between a man and a woman.”
According to the Burlington Free Press, the Senate will convene at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, when it will attempt to override the veto. The paper reported that the Senate is expected to override the veto, but the outcome in the House, where 100 votes are needed, remains unclear.
If the governor’s veto is overriden, Vermont will become the third state, after Massachusetts and Connecticut, to have passed same-sex marriage laws.