State of Vermont Archives: on Civil Rights


Phil Scott: Supports gay marriage and transgender bathroom rights

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, the only Republican statewide officeholder, has made this race close by tacking to the left. A part-time race-car driver, Scott has wide name recognition and has denounced Trump as "someone who exploits fear for political gain" and "who is willing to overlook the truth."

Scott supports abortion rights and gay marriage, and said during a debate that transgender students should be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice.

Source: Associated Press on 2016 Vermont Gubernatorial race Oct 1, 2016

Scott Milne: Opposes affirmative action

Q: Do you support affirmative action programs?

Scott Milne: No

Source: iSideWith.com Voter Guide on 2016 Vermont Senate race Sep 9, 2016

Sue Minter: Economic security for women via livable wages and equal pay

Empowering Women: Women in Vermont are twice as likely as men to live in poverty and face additional barriers to employment. Vermont's families and economy cannot truly thrive unless we address economic security for women with livable wages and equal pay. I will promote diversifying our workforce with family-friendly policies and non-traditional career paths to attract and retain women in the Vermont workforce.
Source: 2016 Vermont gubernatorial campaign website SueMinter.com May 25, 2016

Scott Milne: Supported civil unions in 2000

His mother, Marion Milne, served in the state House. In 2000, she cast a vote in favor of civil unions. The controversial precursor to same-sex marriage divided Vermont, particularly in Orange County, where "Take Back Vermont" was the mantra blaring from signs posted on barns. Fellow Republicans targeted her in that year's election, and she lost the primary. Marion Milne then ran as an independent in the general election, falling short by 1,000 votes.

Scott Milne remembers that his mother knew as she voted on civil unions that she was likely to lose her seat as a result. He supported her all the way, he said.

Scott Milne helped campaign door-to-door for his mother and saw firsthand the raw anger civil unions had generated. So did his then-12-year-old son. At one door, he said, his son was treated to a string of expletives about his grandmother. "It's too bad what a divisive, traumatic time that was. How that ended up being a party issue on either side," Scott Milne said.

Source: Burlington Free Press on 2016 Vermont Senate race Oct 28, 2014

Jim Douglas: Declare Juneteenth an annual tribute to emancipation

Governor Jim Douglas today announced that he has proclaimed this Saturday, June 20, 2009 as Juneteenth National Freedom Day in Vermont. "I want to thank [legislators] for their tremendous efforts to pass Legislation declaring the third Saturday in June annually, as Juneteenth National Freedom Day in Vermont," said Governor Douglas. Juneteenth is an important annual tribute to the emancipation of African-Americans from slavery in our country. And it serves as a reminder to us all that we must speak out against hate, violence and discrimination against all humans. I hope Vermonters will join me in commemorating Juneteenth National Freedom Day in Vermont."
Source: Governor press release on Vermont proclamation/voting record Jun 19, 2009

Jim Douglas: Veto defining marriage as "2 people" not "1 man & 1 woman"

Gov. Douglas VETOED the proposed bill:

Vermont legislative summary for S.115: Marriage is the legally recognized union of two people [changing the definition from "one man and one woman"]. Gender-specific terms relating to the marital relationship, including "spouse," "family," "marriage," "bride," "groom," "husband," "wife," "widow," and "widower," shall be construed to be gender-neutral for all purposes throughout the law.

Governor's veto message: This is an issue that is intensely personal, but I am charged by our Constitution to act, and by its return without my signature, I have fulfilled that responsibility. Vermont's civil union law has afforded the same state rights, responsibilities and benefits of marriage to same sex couples. I believe that marriage should remain between a man and a woman.

Legislative outcome: 4/6 vetoed by Governor Douglas; 4/7 veto override in House 94-52-3; 4/7 Senate veto override 23-5-2.

Source: Vermont legislative voting records for S.115 Apr 7, 2009

Peter Shumlin: Define marriage as "two people" not "one man & one woman"

Sen. Shumlin SPONSORED this bill and voted to override the veto:

Vermont legislative summary for S.115: Marriage is the legally recognized union of two people [changing the definition from "one man and one woman"]. Gender-specific terms relating to the marital relationship, including "spouse," "bride," "groom," "husband," "wife," "widow," and "widower," shall be construed to be gender-neutral for all purposes throughout the law.

Governor's veto message: This is an issue that is intensely personal, but I am charged by our Constitution to act, and by its return without my signature, I have fulfilled that responsibility. Vermont's civil union law has afforded the same state rights, responsibilities and benefits of marriage to same sex couples. I believe that marriage should remain between a man and a woman.

Legislative outcome: 4/6 vetoed by Governor Douglas; 4/7 veto override in House 94-52-3; 4/7 Senate veto override 23-5-2.

Source: Vermont legislative voting records for S.115 Apr 7, 2009

Peter Shumlin: Define marriage as "two people" not "one man & one woman"

Sen. Shumlin SPONSORED this bill and voted to override the veto:

Vermont legislative summary for S.115: Marriage is the legally recognized union of two people [changing the definition from "one man and one woman"]. Gender-specific terms relating to the marital relationship, including "spouse," "bride," "groom," "husband," "wife," "widow," and "widower," shall be construed to be gender-neutral for all purposes throughout the law.

Governor's veto message: This is an issue that is intensely personal, but I am charged by our Constitution to act, and by its return without my signature, I have fulfilled that responsibility. Vermont's civil union law has afforded the same state rights, responsibilities and benefits of marriage to same sex couples. I believe that marriage should remain between a man and a woman.

Legislative outcome: 4/6 vetoed by Governor Douglas; 4/7 veto override in House 94-52-3; 4/7 Senate veto override 23-5-2.

Source: Vermont legislative voting records for S.115 Apr 7, 2009

Phil Scott: Ballot initiative ok; don't legislatively re-define marriage

Sen. Scott OPPOSED the proposed bill (supporting instead a ballot initiative):

Vermont legislative summary for S.115: Marriage is the legally recognized union of two people [changing the definition from "one man and one woman"]. Gender- specific terms relating to the marital relationship, including "spouse," "bride," "groom," "widow," and "widower," shall be construed to be gender-neutral for all purposes throughout the law.

Governor's veto message: This is an issue that is intensely personal, but I am charged by our Constitution to act, and by its return without my signature, I have fulfilled that responsibility. Vermont's civil union law has afforded the same state rights, responsibilities and benefits of marriage to same sex couples. I believe that marriage should remain between a man and a woman.

Legislative outcome: 4/6 vetoed by Gov. Douglas; 4/7 veto override in House 94-52-3; 4/7 Senate veto override 23-5-2 (Scott absent)

Source: Vermont legislative voting records for S.115 Apr 7, 2009

Shap Smith: Define marriage as "two people" not "one man & one woman"

Rep. Smith voted to override the veto:

Vermont legislative summary for S.115: Marriage is the legally recognized union of two people [changing the definition from "one man and one woman"]. Gender-specific terms relating to the marital relationship, including "spouse," "bride," "groom," "husband," "wife," "widow," and "widower," shall be construed to be gender-neutral for all purposes throughout the law.

Governor's veto message: This is an issue that is intensely personal, but I am charged by our Constitution to act, and by its return without my signature, I have fulfilled that responsibility. Vermont's civil union law has afforded the same state rights, responsibilities and benefits of marriage to same sex couples. I believe that marriage should remain between a man and a woman.

Legislative outcome: 4/6 vetoed by Governor Douglas; 4/7 veto override in House 94-52-3; 4/7 Senate veto override 23-5-2.

Source: Vermont legislative voting records for S.115 Apr 7, 2009

Sue Minter: Define marriage as "two people" not "one man & one woman"

Rep. Minter voted to override the veto:

Vermont legislative summary for S.115: Marriage is the legally recognized union of two people [changing the definition from "one man and one woman"]. Gender-specific terms relating to the marital relationship, including "spouse," "bride," "groom," "husband," "wife," "widow," and "widower," shall be construed to be gender-neutral for all purposes throughout the law.

Governor's veto message: This is an issue that is intensely personal, but I am charged by our Constitution to act, and by its return without my signature, I have fulfilled that responsibility. Vermont's civil union law has afforded the same state rights, responsibilities and benefits of marriage to same sex couples. I believe that marriage should remain between a man and a woman.

Legislative outcome: 4/6 vetoed by Governor Douglas; 4/7 veto override in House 94-52-3; 4/7 Senate veto override 23-5-2.

Source: Vermont legislative voting records for S.115 Apr 7, 2009

Greg Parke: Constitutional gay marriage ban is democracy in action

Senate Republican leaders in Washington tried to bring up a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage for a vote last week but they lacked the votes to have the bill considered on the floor. Greg Parke says he supports a constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage as a way to rein in state judges who are overturning marriage laws: Parke says, “Right now you have government imposing its will on society and these are unelected judges this constitutional amendment is democracy in a
Source: Bob Kinzel series of interviews on Vermont Public Radio Jun 12, 2006

Richard Tarrant: Don’t use Constitution on special interest like gay marriage

Senate Republican leaders in Washington tried to bring up a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage for a vote last week but they lacked the votes to have the bill considered on the floor. Richard Tarrant says it’s wrong to use the Constitution to address this issue: Tarrant says, “This clearly is one special interest against another special interest and I think the Constitution is clearly not the place for that so I don’t think it should have never been introduced.”
Source: Bob Kinzel series of interviews on Vermont Public Radio Jun 12, 2006

Bernie Sanders: Bush’s tracking citizens’ phone call patterns is illegal

Sanders says the Administration’s plan to track the phone calling patterns of millions of American is illegal. The Bush plan has so angered Sanders that he’s joined a legal effort to prohibit this practice in the future. Sanders says, “This president cannot do whatever he wants whenever he wants to. That is illegal. That is unconstitutional to my mind - the idea that the government can tap people’s phones or get into their emails without a court warrant is clearly wrong and it is clearly illegal.”

Sanders says it’s important to conduct effective anti terrorism programs, but he says these programs must be conducted within the limits of the law. Sanders says, “We want a vigorous investigation of anybody that the government or the FBI believes is involved in terrorist activity. But you can’t just have a situation where the government can go after anybody for any reason without any probable cause, without going to getting a court warrant. I think that that is a very dangerous precedent.”

Source: Bob Kinzel series of interviews on Vermont Public Radio Jun 5, 2006

Howard Dean: Egalitarianism implies the legality of gay civil unions

I believe that all people are created equal, certainly in the eyes of God. Therefore, they should be equal in the eyes of the law. That’s why I knew I had to work for civil unions. I never viewed the bill as a gay rights issue. I signed it out of a commitment to human rights, and because every single American has the same right to equality and justice under the law that I have.
Source: Winning Back America, p.157, on Vermont Voting Record H.847 Dec 3, 2003

Howard Dean: Gays deserve equal rights under the law

Q: Does gay marriage make you uncomfortable?

A: When I signed the civil unions bill, I didn’t know anything more about the gay community than I did 25 years earlier. I did it, not because I knew a lot about the gay community, it was because I believed every single American deserves equal rights under the law. I have come to know the GLBT community over time because I signed the first equal rights under the law bill for gay and lesbian Americans.

Source: CNN Rock The Vote on 2000 Vermont Voting Record H.847 Nov 5, 2003

Matt Dunne: Equal benefits for same sex couples

Q: Should people in civil unions have the same benefits as married couples in Vermont?

A: Yes.

Q: Should Vermont restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman?

A: No.

Dunne indicates he would include sexual orientation in Vermont's anti-discrimination laws.

Source: Vermont Congressional 2002 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2002

  • The above quotations are from State of Vermont Politicians: Archives.
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Page last updated: Mar 01, 2017