In a new memoir to be released this week, former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas discusses vetoing a gay marriage bill approved by lawmakers in 2009.

In The Vermont Way: A Republican Governor Leads America's Most Liberal State, Douglas, 63, says he acted on his conscience when presented with the marriage bill.

Douglas wrote that he had no objections to gay couples, then added: “I believe, however, that the institution of marriage is worth preserving in its traditional form.”

Last week, Douglas, nearly 4 years removed from the Pavilion, declined to say how he would act today if faced with the same decision.

“Initially, I thought I wouldn't write about that at all, but then I thought people would say, 'He's running away from that,'” he said.

Lawmakers quickly moved to override Douglas' veto and Vermont – the first state to recognize gay couples with civil unions in 2000 – enacted the marriage law.