.- Today Vermont narrowly became the fourth state to legalize same-sex "marriage" joining Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa, despite opposition from the governor and the local Catholic bishop.
Unlike the previous three states who moved to allow gay "marriage," Vermont’s decision came through the legislature instead of the courts. The final vote in the House was 100 to 49, and at least 98 votes were required to override the governor's veto.
Less than a day after Republican Governor Jim Douglas’ veto on the same-sex "marriage" legalization, both the House and the Senate received enough votes to override his decision. Douglas told the Associated Press that he was not surprised with the vote and remarked that the gay "marriage" issue was a distraction from the more urgent current economic situation.
"What really disappoints me is that we have spent some time on an issue during which another thousand Vermonters have lost their jobs," Douglas stated. "We need to turn out attention to balancing a budget without raising taxes, growing the economy, putting more people to work."
Burlington, Vermont Bishop Salvatore R. Matano had previously spoken to the judiciary committee regarding the Catholic Church’s position of same-sex "marriages."
According to the Vermont Catholic Tribune, Bishop Matano testified that the Church desires “the good for all people” and respects “the rights of our fellow citizens to seek the truth and pursue the common good.” Nevertheless, we “have the duty to uphold and to defend the traditional definition of marriage as it has been upheld and revered over the ages.”
He continued by quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is our firm belief that “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring …”
Bishop Matano also emphasized that this “core teaching, which we believe to be rooted in God, does not allow the Church to give an alternate definition of marriage. ‘The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by Him with its own proper laws …God himself is the author of marriage’.”
Despite his opposition, the announcement of the legalization of gay "marriage" prompted cheers from activists in the gallery and lobby.
Wendy Wright from the Concerned Women for America commented on the vote legalizing same-sex "marriage" by saying that legislators are undermining society.
"Marriage is the unique relationship between a man and a woman who together provide children with the benefits of the two sexes, male and female” and “cannot be complete without both sexes. While government officials may change definitions, they cannot change nature. The first human relationship was between one man and one woman, and it became the foundation of all society,” she explained in a press release.
“Vermont legislators' futile attempt to replace God by vainly redefining marriage eerily follows how that first man and woman acted on the first temptation -- and the root of all temptations -- to act as if they were gods,” Wright said. “That one decision by Adam and Eve to believe that they could 'be like God' separated them from God, destroyed the peace that they had experienced, and ushered in what some would call 'unintended consequences' of pain and destruction.”
She closed her statement by urging other states to begin working to protect the institution of marriage.