Remember when Vermont was debating first civil unions in 2000 and then same-sex marriage last spring? The one point of agreement by the two sides seemed to be that Vermont ought to decide this question for itself without outside interference.
Now, however, as Maine voters prepare to vote on a referendum on the same-sex marriage statute their Legislature enacted last spring, the Vermont Democratic Party is encouraging Vermonters to get involved.
Here's the message from Democratic Chairwoman Judy Bevans, who argues marriage equality is under attack in Maine.
"In conjunction with Vermont Freedom to Marry, we are helping organize phone banks across Vermont to call Maine voters and encourage them to get out and vote early, or simply remind them of the urgency of this upcoming vote. This week and next, phone banks will be set up in Burlington, Middlebury and Montpelier, so please sign up today and learn more about what you can do to help. If you can't make it to a phone bank, you can also call from home, so don't hesitate. Just sign up today and tell us you plan to phone from home."
Bevans justifies Vermonters' involvement this way. "Our friends in Maine need the added strength of our voices. Their fight is our fight. As is the fight of any state or individual working for equal rights under the law. ... Together we are shaping the future of civil rights in America."
I lived in Maine for two decades and I know Mainers feel as fiercely independent as Vermonters. I wonder how these calls will go over.
-- Nancy Remsen
Labels: same-sex marriage