On Monday, Vermont mental health organizations and human service groups banded together to release a statement in favor of gay marriages, saying that, far from being detrimental, allowing an LGBT couple to marry could be the very best thing for children in their care, turning the argument against gay marriage on its head by affectively suggesting that it is gay marriage opponents who are creating unstable families by keeping gay parents apart.
Opponents to gay marriage often cry “Think of the children”, but Jackie Weinstein of the University of Vermont’s Human Development and Family Studies program said that, “We [the coalition group] felt it was important for us to set the record straight about the scholarly literature in our field, and we have lots of different families and the best thing to do for all children is to support parents the best way we can,” which was why she and other representatives would be recommending same-sex marriage be allowed when a gay marriage bill, HB 178, is debated in the Vermont senate next week.
The group’s consensus, which also includes the Vermont sector of the National Association of Social Workers, also drew a distinction between civil partnerships for LGBT couples and marriage, saying that the latter would validate a same-sex couple in the eyes of society in a way that a civil partnership could not.
By that token, allowing gay marriage had to be what the coalition group of charities and organizations recommended, as it could only serve to lessen discrimination against children of gay couples and gay couples themselves and therein improve that child’s quality of life.
They also warned against “misinterpretations” of data that the UHD had collected that was used by some anti-gay supporters to wrongly propose arguments against gay marriage by drawing on case studies of the affects of parental divorce on children, whether one parent came out as being LGBT or not.
Further to this, support for the same-sex marriage bill has come from religious quarters with 181 clergy members of varying denominations as well as Rabbis Sheri K. Berger, Joshua Boettinger Joshua Chasan, and David Steinberg all signing their support.
But Vermont’s Governor Jim Douglas thinks the civil partnership law is good the way it is and that there shouldn’t be a “decisive” bill such as the one going before the senate next week. He even added that he would be angry if it reached him before other legislature.
This runs contrary to the church he attends, however, as the United Church of Christ was the largest signer to the decleration of support. For a full list of those that signed to the decleration, please click here.
However, Douglas hasn’t indicated if he will use his powers of veto against the bill when it eventually reaches his desk, and many are quietly hopeful that same-sex marriage is but a breath away in Vermont.