Congratulations, Vermont, in legalizing same-sex marriages, in spite of a senseless veto from Governor Jim Douglas. During the campaign to legalize “civil unions” back in 2000, those opposed to the new law ran the “Take Back Vermont” campaign, which inspired those in favor to proclaim, “Take Vermont Forward.” Forward indeed! Vermont has become the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through an act of legislation, instead of a judicial mandate.
A colleague joked at lunch today:
I was totally against it [same-sex marriage] until I heard it was optional.
But seriously, folks. The Boston Globe ran an Associated Press story on the matter today, quoting Governor Douglas on why he vetoed the bill:
“What really disappoints me is that we have spent some time on an issue during which another thousand Vermonters have lost their jobs,” the governor said Tuesday. “We need to turn out attention to balancing a budget without raising taxes, growing the economy, putting more people to work.”
First, wouldn’t the legislature have resumed its economy-related activities faster if you hadn’t made them first override your useless veto (by 23 votes to 5)?
More importantly, the United States spends billions of dollars on weddings every year, averaging $20,000 for a single ceremony and upwards of $80 billion nationwide. That money goes into wildly diverse markets and often to local businesses. Services (florists, caterers, musicians, photographers), jewelers (for rings), real estate owners (for both the ceremony and reception spaces), other property renters (for furniture, tents, dishes), printers (for announcements, invitations, place cards, et cetera), and even the travel industry (for both honeymoon travel and for out-of-town family attending the ceremony) — not to mention the wedding industry’s own internal services like gown designers and formalwear renters — get enormous payouts every time two people get married.
Maybe some governors would rather Massachusetts get all that economy-boosting glory, eh?