“Log Cabin Republicans congratulates our Republican colleagues who have courageously voted for marriage equality in the Vermont state legislature. We celebrate their commitment to the inherent conservative principles of limited government and personal responsibility in addition to basic fairness,” stated Log Cabin Republicans Board Chairman Terry Hamilton in a statement. “I am proud to announce that these eight outstanding legislators will receive the 2009 Uncommon Courage Award, highlighting and acknowledging their resolve to vote their conscience in the face of much opposition.”
Vermont State Rep. Anne Donahue (R-Northfield) will travel to Washington, D.C., to accept the award on behalf of House Republican Caucus Chairwoman Patti Komline (R-Dorset), state Senators Diane Snelling (R-Chittenden) and Kevin Mullin (R-Rutland), as well as state Representatives Richard Hube (R-Londonderry), Heidi Scheuermann (R-Stowe), Richard Westman (R-Cambridge), and Kurt Wright (R-Burlington).
On April 7, the Vermont House voted 100-49 to override Republican Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of the same-sex marriage bill. The Vermont Senate voted 25-5 to override the bill.
"I think it was a real tribute to our party that in the midst of a very controversial debate, it stayed firm in its philosophy that members have the right to vote their own conscience. There was tremendous public pressure to change our votes and support the governor's veto, but no arm-twisting from within the caucus, and the governor himself honored his word respecting this as a personal issue: he did not try to sway votes,” said Donahue. "There were 11 Democrats who voted against their party in the House, and with huge internal pressure, three changed votes. However the six Republicans stayed firm with their original votes in support of the bill, and each one of those votes proved critical to passage."
The Log Cabin Republicans and the Liberty Education Forum will present the award on Saturday, April 18.