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VLS Community in action

The Vermont legislature is currently debating a bill to approve same-sex marriage in the state. The open hearing was held on Wednesday – the law school had a caravan of faculty, staff and students heading up the road to Montpelier to support the bill. Here is a report from one of our students:

Thank you VLS for showing up at the hearing on Wednesday – we had everyone from the Academic Dean to the dog (Ramona) there in Montpelier. And it made a difference. I just got back from Montpelier and watched as the Judicairy Committee voted a unanimous Yes on recommending the marriage equality bill to the full senate.

Even the senator who proposed a referendum, which was opposed, voted for the bill as it is. And to address concerns you heard Wednesday, the words “Bride” “Groom” etc will be available on the marriage license, not just “party .”

What’s left: The Senate will vote on it, Then it goes to the House Judicary Committee, they vote, and then it goes to the full House of Reps. We’re still on track for March 27th, but that could change.

I’m not going to send more emails as the process continues, but I wanted you to know that what you did mattered a great deal, because the visual impact of all of you sitting there listening intently was profound, to me and to the Senators. Unanimity was unexpected, and it’s going to make a big difference in the remainder of the voting process. Thank you, from me and from the gay and straight people who have worked tirelessly on this bill, and from every non-straight person in America who desperately needs a win after a succession of frightening losses. We’re not home free, but our odds have improved greatly.

Thank you for showing up and wearing your buttons and listening to three hours of testimony about whether gay and lesbian people are fully human like yourselves, or fundamentally other and less than. The vote today was not one just recommending a bill, it was those Senators’ public evaluation of the humanity of LGBTQ people in Vermont, and they said that there is not a difference. They’ve traveled a long way physicallly, mentally and emotionally to arrive at that recommendation, and you helped them along the last bit of it.

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