Now that the dust is beginning to settle from the Primaries, it may be of interest to note some of the fallout especially as it relates to the State of Vermont which passed a Civil Union Bill [CUB] that got the fundies undies in a twist. The interest shown in CUB by the other 49 states may mean that it might soon appear in yours.
Although the bill clearly states at the outset that marriage is defined as a union between a woman and a man, this fact clearly had not reached the higher brain centers of the fundies. To them, this bill says same sex marriage, and fantasizing about same-sex sex, got them itching in places they couldn't scratch.
I t was a very contentious campaign where the anti-civil unioners were determined not only to get their candidates elected but to defeat anyone who had voted for the CUB in the legislature. Their tactics were right out of the dirty tricks bag of the Republican Party. They waged a scare war by defaming the governor of the state and its teachers.
Financed partly by out-of-state fundies, they spread their bilious hate by handbills, newspapers, radio, TV and word of mouth. Their message claimed that all homosexuals were pedophiles; that Governor Dean was a supporter of the homosexual agenda and that Vermont schools were teaching the homosexual lifestyle preference.
Of note were their signs reading, "Take Back Vermont", which meant "away from the Democratic administration under which the CUB was passed." To counteract this, other signs went up that proclaimed, "Take Vermont Forward," which meant, "into the future, without the mean-spirited prejudice."
At the forefront of this insidious campaign was the Republican candidate for Governor, Ruth Dwyer. In the adroit fashion we have come to associate with dirty tricksters on the Federal level, Dwyer fanned the flames of homophobia. When these were red hot, she morphed herself into a facsimile of a calm, wise leader spouting tolerance for all.
She pledged, if elected, to overthrow CUB, as well as any and all programs that her constituents didn't like. If she does get elected and her Party is in the majority it will be very interesting. The Vermont Supreme Court has already ruled that if there is no civil union law, then they will declare that homosexual MARRIAGE is legal.
Support has rolled in for Dwyer. Her Party and the Christian Coalition sent her boucoup bucks; homophobes from all over the world contribute support and advice, and as frosting on her intolerance cake, none other than Mr. I, himself, Pat Buchannan is coming to town to help her rally the I-faithful.
Despite all the pre-primary scare rhetoric, the state has not been overrun by gays. There have been only a few CU licenses issued. One town clerk resigned rather than issue these licenses and one town clerk appointed a substitute to issue them for her. All in all, life in the bucolic byways of Vermont goes on much as usual.
However those of us that want our state to continue to be a bastion of civil liberties are aware that the November elections are a-comin' and signs are already sprouting all over the hills and dales. We know we'll have to get our kesters in gear if we are to stop the advance of the intolerance. The game's afoot!
Flushed with their victories, the fundies may not have noticed that Norway legalized homosexual marriage on the very day Vermont held its Primary elections. And while they were busy defeating those legislators who voted for the CUB, the Democrats nominated a gay man to run for the U.S. Senate. He will be running against Senator Jim Jeffords, another Republican the fundies have been badmouthing because he voted NOT to impeach Clinton.
They should have used more care about what they wished for. The fundie supporters that are coming into Vermont to help them get Dwyer elected are remembered for their visits here when they worked to deprive women of CHOICE. Memories of their actions may just stir up a hornet's nest of backlash from women.
In addition, if they succeed in turning many of their Party's voters against Republican Senator Jeffords by their vilification of him, Vermont will have a another Democratic Senator who is gay. They may have just sawed off the branches they're standing on.
Copyright 2000 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: email@example.com.
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