Vt. Governor Flooded with Critical, Supportive Mail Over Gay Marriage

Before Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas announced that he will veto a same-sex marriage bill, the majority of his letters and e-mails showed opposition to the measure.

Days after his announcement, most of his mail is now coming from same-sex marriage supporters who are critical of Douglas' pledge.

" ... your choice to veto is a slap in the face and a firm reminder that in your opinion, my partner and I are worth less than others simply because we are of the same gender," wrote a South Burlington man, according to The Associated Press which obtained the letters.

After passing through the Senate, a bill that would legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples in the state moved to the House last week. It was then that the governor said he will veto the measure if it reached his desk.

Douglas said it was not his normal policy to make such an announcement before it passed the legislature. But he explained his intent, saying "the speculation about my decision has added to the anxiety of the moment and further diverts attention from our most pressing issues, and I cannot allow that to happen," as reported by The New York Times.

Since his announcement, the governor's mailbag and e-mail inbox flooded with about 1,500 responses, many criticizing the pledge and some showing support.

"It takes courage," wrote a woman from Ovando, Mont., as reported by AP. "Keep up the fight. Our prayers are with you. You are setting an example for other states."

Vermont was the first state to pass a civil unions law in 2000. It would become the third state after Massachusetts and Connecticut to allow same-sex marriage and the first state to permit it by a vote of the legislature if the bill becomes law. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on it Friday.

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