VT Guv’s seen same-sex marriage and lived to tell the tale; shares coping skills with RI

April 1, 2011 at 9:08 am 36 comments

Cross-posted at Good As You

By Jeremy Hooper

Peter-ShumlinVermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) was in Rhode Island yesterday, cutting through the National Organization For Marriage’s noise in order to share his own firsthand experience with the oft-misrepresented concept that is marriage equality:

The Democratic governor, elected in November, said the experience in Vermont — which approved civil unions in 2000 and approved same-sex marriage in 2009 — shows that rather than causing the “sky to fall in,” legalizing same-sex marriage addressed a civil-rights issue and also helped the local economy.

“It was the kind of state we wanted to be,” he said. “One family, with all the same civil rights.”

Vermont governor visits R.I. to support same-sex marriage [Providence Journal]

But of course where there is talk of unity and peace, there is also faith-based conviction trying to stop the same. This is how Providence Journal describes yesterday’s counter effort:

While Chafee and Shumlin talked, about 40 people, most of them from the Hispanic Ministerial Association of Rhode Island, prayed and held signs outside the State Room to voice opposition to same-sex marriage and support for traditional marriage.

“We don’t consider it to be a civil-rights issue,” said Ida Nogueras, pastor of Gethsemane Church, in Pawtucket. “We believe that it’s a choice.”

Vermont governor visits R.I. to support same-sex marriage [Providence Journal]

Well frankly, Ms. Nogueras, you can consider it swiss cheese if you want. What matters is what the facts on the ground (and in the constitution) say. And in Vermont, as they inevitably will in Rhode Island and elsewhere, those facts say that (a) LGBT people exist, (b) civil rights are for all and not some, and (c) the anti-LGBT religious community’s supposed list of horribles have more than proven themselves to be little more than exercises in false-witness-bearing.

Entry filed under: Marriage equality.

Jim Jordan, the newest waste of space Congressman Scheming and dreaming

36 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alan E.  |  April 1, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I love the title!

    Reply
    • 2. Ann S.  |  April 1, 2011 at 9:23 am

      “you can consider it swiss cheese if you want” — another good line.

      Reply
  • 3. Sagesse  |  April 1, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Curiosity question. How does this conversation get translated into testimony before the legislative committees that are voting on the issue. It helps if it is on the public record, no?

    Reply
    • 4. truthspew  |  April 2, 2011 at 5:37 am

      It follows similar lines. It goes about 65% in favor of marriage equality.

      I’ll be honest, I’ve been attending the hearings for about five years now and honestly, I don’t cover the bigots as much because they can’t come up with anything new. It’s the same tired arguments that have been thoroughly debunked over the years.

      But from our side we see more examples of normal families that just happen to be comprised of two women or two men. Legislators cannot ignore that.

      There is however one bigot I love to make red-faced. That would be Chris Young. And I’ll agree that during one vid I got of him I yelled down “Hey Chris, the better part of you dribbled down your mothers leg!”

      Got him tossed from one hearing room after he was heard by me going off about gay people. I looked directly into is eyes and said “It’s because you’re a bigot Chris.”

      That was the end, the Capitol Police ejected him.

      If you can’t argue with them, shut em’ down.

      Reply
      • 5. Sagesse  |  April 2, 2011 at 6:12 am

        What I was getting at is that here we have the Governor of Vermont, visiting behind closed doors with the Governor of Rhode Island, publicized and followed by a press conference. Making an unequivocal statement that marriage equality in practice is good for the state of Vermont. All good.

        Wouldn’t it be more effective if he stood in front of the same Senate or House Committee as Chris Plante and said the same thing to the people who have to vote, before the Governor ever sees the bill to sign. Let his words be heard live by the room full of people who are listening to the bigots rant. Those hearings are being televised.

        Just think it’s a missed opportunity to have a powerful, positive message up front in the legislative discussion. And it adds weight to the pro-equality side when the family values crowd stand up and pontificate about why they’re voting no.

        Reply
  • […] 0 Cross-posted at Good As You By Jeremy Hooper Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) was in Rhode Island yesterday, cutting through the National Organization For Marriage's noise in order to share his own firsthand experience with the oft-misrepresented concept that is marriage equality: The Democratic governor, elected in November, said the experience in Vermont — which approved civil unions in 2000 and approved same-sex marriage in 2009 — shows that rat … Read More […]

    Reply
  • 7. Ronnie  |  April 1, 2011 at 10:04 am

    “We believe that it’s a choice.”

    In a way that is correct, certainly not the way she thinks she is using it (being gay is NOT a choice, I was born gay…deal with it), but MARRIAGE is a choice, a choice that the selfish anti-gay side is denying us (LGBT tax paying citizens & PEOPLE) unless we choose to do it how they want & demand us too according to their selfish beliefs & definitions. In this case according to Pastor Ida Nogueras’ religious beliefs, holy book, & higher power despite there being a LAW stating that NO American needs to nor are we required to adhere to her religious tenets, holy book, & higher power as well as the definitions formed & propagated from the aforementioned…….

    With all do respect, Ms. Nogueras, THAT is the LAW in America….don’t like it?….TOO BAD!!!….Get over it!!!…..<3…Ronnie

    Reply
    • 8. Michelle Evans  |  April 1, 2011 at 11:24 am

      Ronnie, I agree with you about the choice thing. Yes, we all have a choice. We can either choose to be who we are, or we can choose to live life as a lie. When I did the latter, it nearly killed me. It was only when I made the choice to be true to myself that I decided I actually wanted to be alive.

      On the other hand, people like Ida, want us to make a choice to be miserable in our lives just so it won’t offend their poor, horrified sensibilities.

      Reply
      • 9. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 1, 2011 at 11:43 am

        Well said Michelle! Glad you survived : )

        Reply
      • 10. JonT  |  April 1, 2011 at 6:25 pm

        Ronnie, I agree with you about the choice thing. Yes, we all have a choice. We can either choose to be who we are, or we can choose to live life as a lie.

        Exactly. THAT is the only “choice” we have in the matter. I wish they could see that. Maybe someday they will.

        Reply
    • 11. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm

      I believe their religious affiliation IS a choice, but the constitution gives them their right to make such a choice….even IF homosexuality was a choice it shouldn’t matter one tiny bit. People make choices all the time that are protected by the laws of this land.
      Why does this ‘choice’ seem to matter so much?

      I know for a fact I was born this way. The only choice I made was to stop trying to kill myself, accept who I am and be happy.

      Reply
    • 12. Nicole  |  April 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm

      “We don’t consider it to be a civil-rights issue,” said Ida Nogueras, pastor of Gethsemane Church, in Pawtucket. “We believe that it’s a choice.”

      If you weren’t keeping up with the debate, this statement can easily confuse. It’s a very fragmented statement. First of all, what this woman[?] is trying to say is that “Civil rights only concerns the rights of people as it relates to their immutable traits. Because homosexuality isn’t an immutable trait, they shouldn’t be allowed to get married.”

      The premise isn’t even true. Civil rights concern the rights of all citizens. For example when you’re talking about worker’s unions, you’re talking about Civil Rights. When you’re talking about being cheated out of money from corporate banks you’re talking about Civil Rights. The idea that Civil Rights is exclusively about things like race speaks volumes of ignorance from the get go. You should have the right to marry the one you love. It shouldn’t even matter why or how you fell in love. The fact that being gay isn’t a choice only makes the situation worse than it actually was to begin with.

      Reply
      • 13. Rhie  |  April 1, 2011 at 8:09 pm

        I do wonder where this “It can’t be protected under law if it is a choice” thing comes from. First Amendment is THE civil rights law in this land. Both religion and speech are choices. Both are protected.

        Not that it matters since the science is pretty damn clear that LGBT is NOT a choice.

        Reply
  • 14. Kathleen  |  April 1, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I LOVE seeing prominent politicians going out of their way to advocate for equality.

    Reply
    • 15. karen in kalifornia  |  April 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      Yeah, too bad RI Catholic Democrats aren’t going for equality it appears. Hasn’t even been voted on in House Jud. Committee.
      Good luck anyway, RI.

      Reply
  • 16. Carpool Cookie  |  April 1, 2011 at 11:38 am

    “It was the kind of state we wanted to be,” he said. “One family, with all the same civil rights.”

    This is what it is about. And it so sad that everyone has to spend so much TIME and MONEY on just creating basic equality. There are many many other things going on in the world that could use funds and attention, in case no one on the Extreme Right has noticed.

    As for the praying protesters….those fundis strike me as unbalanced.

    Reply
    • 17. Felyx  |  April 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      I want to say something here. Time, money and energy are indeed wasted on this battle to implement all sorts of divisive separatism. But this is a far larger battle than just LGBT rights.

      I really see this as a battle against a far larger problem. Far larger than a struggle for equality. I see this as a world class attempt at human evolution. This Right Wing Republican Religious Tea Party craziness is really nothing new. Slavery, persecution, wealth-mongering and warfare have been around since ancient times. What has only recently made an appearance in human history is technology and mass social interactivity. Wikileaks and Twitter revolutions are seriously changing the face(book) of the human world! Covert harmful secrets are harder to keep for long and brutal authoritarian movements and regimes are not capable of dealing with masses of interconnected people. Before the internet is was hard for LGBT people to gather because we are so few in number. With the onset of the internet and mass social networking we have been able to make a far greater impact on our society. (P8TT would be one example of course.) Same goes for every other segment of humanity.

      Bullies are being put in their places, warmongerers are being pacified, dictators are being dictated to and those who can not get along or want to abuse others are being left behind. Compassion, cooperation and community are seriously the wave of the future. This is where the technological advances came from (people of peace turns towards science lest we overlook the Nazi era ‘braindrain’), this is where social security came from, this is where world peace is turning from dream to reality.

      Like I said, this is far more than just gay rights. This is (to borrow a judeochristian theme) the meek inheriting the earth!

      Sure it’s a waste of time, money and effort… but in the long run it will be worth every last dime!

      (Or kopeck for those in the know!)

      Reply
      • 18. Straight Ally #3008  |  April 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm

        I hope so, Felyx. I see technology as a double-edged sword – lies and hatred propagate more easily, too. I’m really hoping that in the end, more information will promote healthy skepticism of narrow-minded points of view. One thing’s for sure, though: the tide of the LGBT rights battle is moving inexorably in our favor – I can’t recall seeing anything like it in the context of social controversies.

        Reply
  • 19. Kathleen  |  April 1, 2011 at 11:40 am

    From Ireland, as part of the BeLonG To Youth Services annual Stand Up! LGBT Awareness Weeks.

    Reply
    • 20. Felyx  |  April 1, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      I am crying Kathleen. Oh how I am crying.

      It’s beautiful. Thank you.

      Reply
      • 21. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 2, 2011 at 7:48 am

        ditto. so simple. beautiful. tears

        Reply
    • 22. Ray in MA  |  April 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      Tears here too… at that young age, there is a lot of electricity connecting in those hands.

      Reply
    • 23. Alan E.  |  April 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      I had two reactions.

      1) I gasped cheerfully when the boy said he would hold his hand.

      and 2) I thought of the South Park episode when the entire town was saying “I broke the dam,” so I started giggling to myself.

      Great video though!

      Reply
      • 24. Nicole  |  April 2, 2011 at 5:30 am

        Yeah, it’s a cliche, but it brings the message across. I loved this video.

        Reply
    • 25. Sarah  |  April 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      We need this here! A nice smile after an exhausting week… :)

      Reply
    • 26. JonT  |  April 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm

      :)

      Thanks Kathleen.

      Reply
    • 27. Rich  |  April 2, 2011 at 7:29 am

      I can’t wait to show this to our GSA on Monday!! Oh, how I can’t wait!!!

      Reply
    • 28. Ronnie  |  April 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      Loved it…shared it…Thanks Kathleen….<3…Ronnie

      Reply
  • 29. Richard A. Jernigan  |  April 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    scribing

    Reply
  • 30. Ronnie  |  April 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    ‎One year ago the “We Give A Damn” website crashed due to high traffic & volume when they launched the campaign. Here is a B-day letter from Cyndi Lauper, the founder of the “Give a Damn” Campaign. Happy Birthday Give a Damn!!!

    http://www.wegiveadamn.org/2011/04/give-a-damn-turns-1-today/

    Also to celebrate Give a Damn’s 1st Birthday, they released their 2 new PSA’s the first one featuring Meredith Baxter…..Here is the video…..<3….Ronnie:

    Reply
    • 31. Ronnie  |  April 1, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      In the letter, Ms. Lauper announces that in the coming year Give a Damn is going to share personal stories from “both celebrities and everyday people like” me and you….

      Here is the second PSA featuring Chely Wright….Let’s all continue to give a damn…<3…Ronnie:

      Reply
  • 32. Rhie  |  April 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Watching

    Reply
  • 33. Ray in MA  |  April 1, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Back to RI… (I live 10 minutes from the border)

    Nogueras, pastor of Gethsemane Church, is from Pawtucket (RI)…

    Geography class time!!!

    To give a name to a face:

    There are a lot of wonderful people in and from Pawtucket that I know.

    However, a common reference (in RI) for that city is “Scum Bucket” or just “The Bucket”.

    RI, as a very small state (1Million) and is full of New England beauty and heritage… except for “the Bucket”.

    Providence is a bigger city with a unique N.E. character, but has some areas that rival the “scum” in “Scum Bucket”.

    This is like many states/cities…

    I once travelled to Hawaii on business… I came back an told my friends that the area I worked in Honolulu was like “Pawtucket with Palm Trees”.

    … so that’s RI.

    This show’s the best of Pawtucket:

    Reply
    • 34. Ray in MA  |  April 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm

      If you ever visit the Bucket, you may feel uncomfortable wandering outside of this area:

      Reply
  • 35. Michael  |  April 2, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Once again, pro-equality people of faith no where to be seen. Thus, giving anti-gay activists the opportunity to falsely portray themselves as spokespeople for God. As long as we let the other side make the news and frame the issue, we will lose.

    Reply
    • 36. Josh  |  April 3, 2011 at 7:49 am

      Great point. I wonder what percentage of people don’t realize there are inclusive denominations and religious people.

      Reply

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