Vermont crowd shows solidarity against marriage equality protestors

Burlington Free Press
September 1, 2009
The night before the freedom to marry became legal in Ver­mont, more than 400 people met at Burlington’s First Con­gregational Church to take a pre-emptive stand against pro­testers from Kansas who planned to crash today’s party. “We gather to affirm that the ties that bind us are stronger than those that would rip us apart,” the Rev. Robert Lee, the church’s senior minister, told the crowd, which filled the pews and balcony. [Link]

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Ben & Jerry’s Renames Legendary Flavor to Celebrate Freedom to Marry

Freedom to Marry Press Release
September 1, 2009


Ice Cream Company Renames “Chubby Hubby” to “Hubby Hubby,” for the Month of September to Celebrate Gay and Lesbian Couples Getting Married in Vermont

New York, September 1, 2009 —Ben & Jerry’s, known for its euphoric ice cream flavors and dedication to social justice, celebrates the beginning of the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples in Vermont with the symbolic renaming of its well-known ice cream flavor “Chubby Hubby” to “Hubby Hubby.” In partnership with Freedom to Marry, Ben & Jerry’s aims to raise awareness of the importance of marriage equality and, to show its support, will serve “Hubby Hubby” sundaes in Vermont Scoop Shops throughout the month of September.

Ben & Jerry’s has a long history of commitment to social justice, including gay rights. Its partnership with Freedom to Marry, a national leader in the movement for marriage equality, aims to raise awareness of the importance of marriage equality and to encourage other states to follow the blazing trails of Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Maine. Freedom to Marry promotes the national conversation about why marriage equality matters and brings together partner organizations into a larger whole – a shared civil rights campaign.

“At the core of Ben & Jerry’s values, we believe that social justice can and should be something that every human being is entitled to,” said Walt Freese, Chief Executive Officer of Ben & Jerry’s. “From the very beginning of our 30 year history, we have supported equal rights for all people. The legalization of marriage for gay and lesbian couples in Vermont is certainly a step in the right direction and something worth celebrating with peace, love and plenty of ice cream.”

To kick off the celebration, Ben & Jerry’s and Freedom to Marry will be publicly supporting the first marriages of gay and lesbian couples in Vermont and raising awareness for marriage equality and how to take action by driving consumers to freedomtomarry.org. By logging onto the site, people can show their support, sign a Marriage Resolution Petition, have conversations about why marriage matters and learn more about how they can support the cause.

“It’s not polite to talk with your mouth full, but the most important thing that all us ice cream lovers can do to support the freedom to marry is speak with the people we know about why marriage matters and the need to end marriage discrimination in every state”,” said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People's Right to Marry. “Thanks to Ben & Jerry’s, starting those needed conversations has never been sweeter – and thanks to Freedom to Marry, we all now have a great excuse to eat more ice cream.”

For more information on why marriage equality matters and to take action in your state, please log on to www.freedomtomarry.org. To find your local Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop or learn more about Ben & Jerry’s social mission, log onto www.Facebook.com/benjerry. Also, don’t forget to visit us on www.benjerry.com.

Freedom to Marry is the gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Launched in 2003, Freedom to Marry is headed by Evan Wolfson, nationally recognized as a central "architect of the marriage equality movement." Freedom to Marry guides and focuses this social justice movement on a nationwide level, serving as a strategy and support center for national, state, and local partners, a catalyst that drives and shapes the national debate on marriage equality, and an alliance-builder fostering support from non-gay allies.

Ben & Jerry’s produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and ice cream novelties, using high-quality ingredients including milk and cream from family farmers who do not treat their cows with the synthetic hormone rBGH. The company states its position on rBGH on its labels. Ben and Jerry’s products are distributed nationwide and in selected foreign countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Contributions made via the employee led Ben & Jerry’s Foundation in 2008 totaled over $1.9 million. Additionally, the company makes significant product donations to community groups and nonprofits both in Vermont and across the nation. The purpose of Ben & Jerry’s philanthropy is to support the founding values of the company: economic and social justice, environmental restoration and peace through understanding, and to support our Vermont communities. For the full scoop on all Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop locations and fabulous flavors, visit www.benjerry.com.
(Link)

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Vermont not marriage mecca - yet

The Associated Press
August 30, 2009
The five-month wait since Vermont ratified marriage equality is just one of the reasons LGBT couples have been slow to line up to get married starting Sept. 1. Plans are in the works, however, for PR events promoting the new freedom to marry state - including a re-named "Hubby Hubby" ice cream flavor at Ben & Jerry's. [Link]

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Gay couples prepare to wed in Vermont

The Washington Blade
August 28, 2009
The enactment of a marriage equality law in Vermont next week is inspiring couples from within the state and elsewhere to renew their commitments in officially recognized marriages in the Green Mountain State. [Link]

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Vermont Prepares for Marriage Equality

WCAX
August 24, 2009
Vermont's marriage equality law takes effect September 1st. Some observers predict the state could see 1,000 marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples over the next three years, providing a big boost to tourism. [Link]

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GLAD Outlines Vermont Marriage Rights

The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus
August 20, 2009
The Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders are releasing a 45-page pamphlet called "How to Get Married in Vermont," which details the protections, processes and requirements that marrying under the state's new marriage equality law entail. [Link]

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NOM Arrives In D.C. To Try and Keep Discriminatory DOMA

On Top Magazine
July 16, 2009
The nation's most vocal opponent of marriage equality has opened an office in the nation's Capitol to fight for the discriminatory so called Defense of Marriage Act or "DOMA." The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has been vociferous in its opposition to the freedom to marry victories this spring in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. The group says it will use its D.C. office to “stop any attempt to repeal” the anti-gay "DOMA" law which blocks marriages of gay couples from being recognized at the federal level. [Link]

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Senator Leahy Supports DOMA Repeal

HRC Back Story
July 16, 2009
Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, supports the federal government honoring marriages between same-sex couples. Sen. Leahy: “Well I think now that you have states that are voting for and having marriage equality – Vermont has, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, others, Connecticut – the Defense of Marriage Act is unnecessary, should be repealed.” [Link]

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Vermont Episcopal Bishop pushing to expand marriage rites

The Associated Press
July 8, 2009
A group of six bishops from the Episcopal church plan to push for more inclusive treatment of marriages performed between same-sex couples at the church's General Convention, which starts Wednesday in Anahem. The Right Rev. Thomas C. Ely, the bishop of the Episcopal Church in Vermont, said the bishops want to adapt a marriage prayer book to include married same-sex couples. [Link]

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Respect carries rewards not measured in dollars

Business Insurance
July 6, 2009
A recent report by the Williams Institute concludes that the legalization of freedom to marry could hand New England states an economic advantage. The underlying research follows an idea that many employers embraced more than a decade ago: Equality attracts well-educated, creative professionals whose abilities drive company growth. In a world where competition is everything, local economies, like employers, need every advantage they can muster. But equality isn't just a business argument. Treating people with respect, no matter their differences, makes us all better human beings. [Link]

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