Marriage equality: Override numbers update [updated]

The Senate has adjusted their Marriage Equality bill to match the House’s and sent it to the Governor, who should veto it any moment now. With the override vote expected tomorrow morning, here’s an update on the numbers – and who needs to hear from their constituents.

If the pro-equality Republicans hold – and that is a big if (when it comes to Republicans, I am generally highly cynical these days… hopefully I’ll be proven wrong), given that Rep. Westman joined their number, that would leave pro-equality 4 votes short, assuming everyone is there (and I’m still hopeful that some of the no-voting Dems will get the – ah – blue flu).

One vote, as has been pointed out already, could come from the Speaker. And the other three may already have lined up. It’s already out there that no-voting Democratic Representatives Sonny Audette (South Burlington) and Debbie Evans (Essex) are indicating they will vote for the override as a matter of respect for the process, if not a change of heart on the bill itself. Word from the Statehouse is that Representative Bob South (St. Johnsbury) may be the 4th vote that puts the override over. No word on the other no votes – including Winooski’s two Democratic Representatives, who could well find themselves primaried from their intransigence on this issue.

At any rate, these three Democrats – as well as the Republican “yes” votes – need to hear supportive things from their constituents. Be supportive and positive. And that support probably should applaud them for standing up for the process and against gubernatorial intimidation, rather than for equality itself. Here is contact info:

Rep. Bob South:,

Rep. Sonny Audette: (no email, and I hesitate to give out home phone numbers)

Rep. Debbie Evans:,

Messages can also be left for them – as well as Republican yes votes Westman of Stowe as well as Donahue (Washington 2), Wright (Chittenden 3-1), Hube (Windham-Bennington-Windsor 1), Komline (Bennngton-Rutland 1) and Scheuermann (Lamoille 1) – at the Sergeant-at-arms number: 828-2228. Further contact info can be found at the legislative website here.

Update by Julie Waters: Douglas vetoed the bill at 5:38pm.

29 thoughts on “Marriage equality: Override numbers update [updated]

  1. Just to summarize, as a long-distance observer, I believe we have up to 99 supporters of marriage equality: the 96 who voted in favor of gay marriage during either the second or the third vote on the bill (1 was absent during the first vote, 2 during the second, which is why there appeared to be 95 and 94 supporters), plus 1 vote from Speaker Smith, and 2 votes from the Dems who’ve announced they’ll be switching their votes and supporting a veto-override. That’s 99.

    I haven’t heard anyone announce that they’ll be switching to sustain the veto. So best case, we may have 99 in favor, 51 against. If that’s the case, we only need 2 of those opposed to be absent for the vote in order to get 2/3 support for a veto over-ride (because if 99/x = 2/3; then x = 148.5 [cross multiply!], so we need 1.5 of the no votes to be absent).

    If members who originally voted for marriage equality switch their votes and support the veto (or miss the vote), we need more no voters to be absent in order to still get the 2/3 required for a veto override. If we have 98 yes votes, we need 3 no voters to be absent. If we have 97 yes vots, we need 5 absent voters. If we have 96 yes votes, we need 6 absent voters. If we have 95, we need 8 absent voters. If we have 94, we need 9 absent voters. For every vote the marriage equality side loses, we need 1.5 more voters (rounded up) to be absent in order to prevail.

    The senate concurred to the House’s changes without any debate. I’m pretty sure there will be some interesting references to Iowa when this bounces back to the house tomorrow!

  2. In order to override the governors veto the democratic leadership is going to have to unify their party and convince the solid no votes to stay home and stay out of the way of progress. The dems that are willing to change their vote in order to be on the right side of history or to punch Jim Douglas in the face will have to end up voting yes. If this happens we can win even if a few weak republicants cower to Douglas. If there is a dem in your district who voted no send correspondece asking him/her to either switch their vote or stay home and let progress happen! If the Dems can’t pull this off I am going to be livid.  

  3. I don’t care who’s to blame and I don’t care who gets credit.  

    We wouldn’t be where we are without full support from the progressive party’s reps in the house.  We wouldn’t be where we are without leadership (leadership that Peter Freyne had the temerity to mock at the time) in the house and Senate on this.  If this loses, it’s not because of democrats.  It’s not because of progressives.

    It’s because of bigots and opportunists.

    While you guys (to be specific, I’m talking about Odum, Zuckerman and Hoffer) argue about perceived attacks on your own party, I’m finding myself really pissed at all three of you over this.  I say this knowing that all three of you are very strong allies in this fight.  All I’m doing is requesting that we put a breaks on the postmortem until this thing is, you know, dead.

    I don’t normally mind this sort of argument, but it just feels a little different in a thread about my basic rights being in the balance.  It’s sort of like going into surgery and hearing the doctors argue about who’s going to be at fault if I accidentally lose a leg.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *