Vermont Decision

December 27, 1999

Throughout the summer and fall, many of us worried whether homosexual marriage would be legalized in at least one state. Fortunately, the Vermont Supreme Court refused to do that, but stumbled by exhorting the legislature to provide "common benefits and protections" to homosexual couples.

Last January the Vermont Supreme Court heard arguments in Baker v. Vermont. This was a case brought by two lesbian couples and one homosexual couple. The court was expected to rule in favor of gay marriage sometime in the summer or fall. Last Monday they finally ruled on the case. If the court had ruled favorably, many expected gay couples to flock to Vermont to get "married" and then return to their home states demanding that their marriage license be legally recognized.

While that did not take place, the court did exhort the legislature to grant benefits under the ruling to homosexual couples. If they do so, they would be the first state legislature to extend marital rights and benefits to homosexual couples.

Part of the problem is that Vermont's marriage law is silent on who can marry whom. While many other states have passed a "defense of marriage" act, Vermont has not done so. There is a House bill (already with 57 co-sponsors) that defines marriage as between a man and a woman which can be considered in the next legislative session.

The ruling from Vermont is but one more example of judicial activism. Unelected judges are legislating from the bench. Their ruling, though not a direct attack on marriage, nevertheless is another example of the erosion of the very foundations of marriage. Now it is the state legislature's turn. They must now consider the issue and we can hope and pray the legislators do the right thing.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.