Vermont and Supporting Equality

Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 00:39:34 -0500 (EST)

Dear All,

Christopher Reeve once explained that "family values" means that "We are all family and we all have value." Throughout this nation, there are people who very much want to be family -- who really are family -- but the law says to them no, you cannot be family. Because you are both men, or you are both women, no matter how much you love each other, we, the state, we will not recognize you as family, as a married couple.
In December 1999, the Supreme Court of Vermont took a step ahead of the rest of the nation when it said that "the state is constitutionally required to extend to same-sex couples the common benefits and protections that flow from marriage under Vermont law." In other words, while the Court did not explictly say that gay and lesbian couples could marry (in a partial dissent, one particularly just justice did say this) -- it left this up to the legislature -- the Court did say that these couples are entitled to the same benefits that the law provides married couples. No other court in the nation has even said that before.
In the words of the Court, acknowledging gays and lesbians "as Vermonters who seek nothing more, nor less, than legal protection and security for their avowed commitment to an intimate and lasting human relationship is simply, when all is said and done, a recognition of our common humanity."
As Vermont's legislature considers exactly how it will implement the Court's ruling, the Governor's office is apparently receiving many calls from those who would delay the day when the promise of equality for all becomes a reality. Add your name to the list below to let Vermont's Lieutenant Governor know that you want to hurry (and would like him to help hurry) that day of equality. (See below.)



PS In order to speed the process of reaching 50 names (see below; there are currently 41 on this list), I would suggest that you don't not forward this e-mail to someone because you think they might have already received it. If you have multiple copies, sign the one with the most names. Then forward it along! Thank you.

PPS Since the e-mail on AIDS in Africa a few weeks ago, about 100,000 more people in Africa have died of AIDS. Please don't accept this tragedy in silence....

"I have only dreams: to build a better world, a world of harmony and understanding, a world in which it is a joy to live. This is not asking for too much." -- Yitzhak Rabin

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