Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Vermont Gets It Right

In a perfect world the government would be forbidden from interfering in the rites of marriage. So would fundamentalist bigots and their ilk. Until that day comes we shall have to rely upon people of courage in state legislatures to do the right thing by the people of their state. That's exactly what has occurred today in Vermont as they have legalised gay marriage and shunted aside the petty compromise of civil unions.
DUXBURY, Vt. — After 17 years together, Bill Slimback and Bob Sullivan couldn't wait another minute to get married. So they didn't.

With Vermont's new law allowing same-sex marriage only a minute old, they tied the knot in a midnight ceremony at a rustic lodge, becoming one of the first couples to legally wed under a law that took effect at midnight Monday.

Dressed in suits, saying their vows under a large wall-mounted moose head, the two Whitehall, N.Y., men promised their love, exchanged rings and held hands during a modest 17-minute ceremony. Moose Meadow Lodge co-owner Greg Trulson, who's also a Justice of the Peace, presided.

"It feels wonderful," said Slimback, 38, an out-of-work Teamster who is taking Sullivan's last name as his own. "It's a day I've been long waiting for, and a day I truly honestly thought would never come."

Slimback said he and Sullivan, 41, have long wanted to cement their relationship with a wedding, but since they couldn't legally marry in New York they chose to wed even before Vermont's gay marriage era officially dawned.

Vermont is one of five states that now allow same-sex couples to marry. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa are the others. New Hampshire's law takes effect Jan. 1, 2010.
Even though government is still involved in the issue, at least they came down on the side of rights for individuals, rather than the bigoted side of rights denial. Someday's you actually think there's some hope for this country and the people who inhabit it. Of course, tomorrow's another day. But, for today I'll "hold some faith in the goodness of humanity".

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