Same-sex marriage and the arts

Alex Aldrich, the executive director of the Vermont Arts Council, is in a tough position.

The Arts Council is a quasi-state agency, a non-profit group that receives lots of its funding from Vermont's state coffers. So, he can't say how he feels about the same-sex marriage bill working through the Legislature.

On his blog last week, Aldrich wrote:

"I am forbidden by law to advocate for a particular position regarding pending legislation since I am the director of an independent 501(c)(3) organization that also serves as the official Vermont State Arts Agency. I am, however, allowed to offer fair and balanced opportunities to all people to educate themselves about issues of note."

He recommends that arts supporters visit the Web sites of those opposed to same-sex marriage ( and supporters ( to make a decision on the issue.

"Still haven’t made up your mind? Go back and do it again, and yet again if you have to. I truly don’t care what your position ends up being. I just don’t want you or your children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren to feel any regret that you didn’t take a position and communicate it to your legislators when you had the chance."

Aldrich adds at the end, "As to where I personally stand on this issue, feel free to draw your own conclusions."

-Dan Barlow