In the wake of Wednesday's big public hearing, a week of testimony and hundreds of e-mails and phone messages, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to revise and vote on the same-sex marriage bill Friday morning.
The panel has two hours for its deliberations.
Steve Cable, an opponent of the bill, suggested to Chairman Richard Sears, D-Bennington
, that he didn't have to rush to action. Why not delay until after holding a statewide referendum or at least a summer study? Cable asked.
Not even Gov. Jim Douglas sees merit in slowing down the process -- now that legislative leaders "seem intent on doing this." At his news conference earlier this afternoon, Douglas said, "I think the better approach is to get it over quickly."
Assuming a bill legalizing marriage for same-sex couples passes both the Senate and House and lands on his desk, what would the governor do?
"I think I've made my position quite clear," he said. "Marriage should remain between a man and a woman." He added that he thinks civil unions provides gay couples with all the rights of marriage and ought to be sufficient.
Does that mean a veto? He wouldn't say, as usual. "I'm going to do what I think is right."
I guess we can feel safe in predicting he won't sign the bill. Would he let it become law without his signature or veto it? What are the political consequences of letting it become law versus a veto? Does he need to care?
-- Nancy Remsen