S. 115 Clears Next Hurdle! Final Vote Friday

Vermont Freedom to Marry
April 2, 2009
The 95 yes votes exceeded even our own expectations coming into this session, and are a great foundation for the looming override battle. The final House vote on the bill is Friday. After the final House vote, we expect the Senate to concur with the House amendments before promptly forwarding the bill to the Governor. The override vote may come as early as Tuesday. [Link]

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Vermont House Panel Tweaks, Advances Gay Marriage Bill

Associated Press
March 31, 2009
The Vermont House Judiciary Committee voted 8-2 Tuesday to approve legislation that would replace civil unions with full marriage equality in the state. The full state House is expected to debate the measure Thursday. [Link]

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Out Vermont Rep. Jason Lorber on marriage: “I believe we can do it”

Gay Politics
March 30, 2009

Openly gay Vermont state Rep. Jason Lorber, a former Victory Fund endorsee, expressed cautious optimism about the prospect of passing marriage equality legislation in the state, despite Gov. Jim Douglas’ declaration that he would veto such a bill. (Link)

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Vermont marriage equality bill veto threat draws mail

Associated Press
March 30, 2009

In the first two days after he pledged to veto a marriage equality bill, Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas' mailbag and e-mail inbox runneth over, with about 1,500 letters and messages pouring in. (Link)

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Vermont House Judiciary Comittee passes marriage equality bill; House vote this week

Vermont Freedom to Marry
March 31, 2009

Vermont Freedom to Marry just posted the news on their blog:

We're one step closer! We need YOU to help us press on. Fairness and equality are within our reach. We MUST do the hard work to keep reaching out to our elected leaders to get the job done. We can't expect our elected Representatives to advocate for us if they don't see us advocating for ourselves! Spend the day at the Statehouse on Thursday, April 2 (get there by 9 a.m. - read more below).

The House Judiciary Committee voted S.115 out of committee today with a 8-2 vote! The committee made minor amendments to strengthen protections for religious freedom, and to make it clear that the laws only regulate civil marriage. The committee worked hard, listening to lots of testimony on a range of topics from diverse witnesses. Please thank the House Judiciary Committee members who supported this bill. (You can leave a message with the Sgt-at-Arms, 802-828-2228).

The full House is scheduled to hold its first vote on Thursday. The House will be taking up the budget bill first, and it is impossible to predict how long the discussion will take. It could take the better part of the day, or it could move along quickly. In either event, you can be sure that the chamber will fill up quickly. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE HAVE A VISIBLE PRESENCE IN THE ROOM. Plan to spend the day at the Statehouse, and come early in order to claim seats in the chamber.

Please understand that we may have to hold our seats for many hours and watch the budget debate before the marriage bill debate begins. Bring a book. Bring a sandwich. BUT PLEASE MAKE THE TIME TO BE THERE.

YOUR REPRESENTATIVES NEED TO KNOW THAT YOU CARE DEEPLY ABOUT THIS VOTE. Please plan to be in the Statehouse by 9am.

In the meantime, please help us make a better future for Vermont by volunteering to phone bank, reaching out to your legislators, and donating money.


Learn more at Vermont Freedom to Marry

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Phone Bankers and Canvassers Needed in Vermont

Following the Vermont Senate’s vote to support a bill to end the exclusion of gay couples from marriage last week, Vermont’s Gov. Douglas said he would veto the civil rights bill. But with the right work we can make that threat irrelevant!

Vermont Freedom to Marry is urging anyone who supports equality for all families to take action now, wherever you are, to tell the Vermont legislature to continue its leadership. Hearings are being held on the bill currently in the House Judiciary Committee, and the House is expected to take action soon!

IF YOU BELIEVE IN CIVIL RIGHTS – YOU ARE NEEDED NOW! HERE'S YOUR JOB:
Canvassers & phone bankers needed NOW - work in Vermont Freedom to Marry’s Burlington office or work from home.
• Call & email Vermont Reps
• Call and email the Governor - 800-649-6825
• Call and email the House Judiciary Committee

Check out Vermont Freedom to Marry’s video page to view what’s been going on in the legislature over the last few weeks, and get involved today!

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EDITORIAL: Marriage on the March

Los Angeles Times
March 28, 2009

The Times editorial board discusses Vt. possibly moving toward marriage equality while the Calif. Supreme Court debates whether to uphold Prop. 8: "Vermont and California appear to be sliding in opposite directions these days, and we're not talking about tectonic plates." [Link]

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Marriage effort shifts back to New England

The Associated Press
March 28, 2009
Five years after Mass. extended marriage equality to gay couples, the focus on marriage for same-sex couples has returned to northern New England as Vt. and N.H. debate legislation that would lift those state's marriage bans. [Link]

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EDITORIAL: With Veto Threat, Douglas Missed Chance to Lead

Burlington Free Press
March 26, 2009
The Burlington Free Press on Vt. Gov. Jim Douglas' vow to veto a marriage equality bill if it passes: "If Douglas' intent was truly to put the debate behind him so Montpelier can focus on the 'most pressing issues,' he failed with an act that can only ratchet up the rhetoric on both sides and deepen the divide [...]" [Link]

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Veto Threat Ripples Through Capital

Rutland Herald
March 27, 2009
Vermont legislators and citizens reflect on the possibility of Gov. James Douglas vetoing a bill that would extend marriage equality to same-sex couples should it pass the state House. [Link]

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