FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vermont Freedom to Marry, Truth Wins Out Call on Vermont’s Mayors to Pledge Support for Federal Marriage Equality
ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt – The Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force and Truth Wins Out announced the launch of a collaborative campaign calling on the state’s eight mayors to stand up for their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender constituents by signing the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry Statement. Constituents are hand-delivering and mailing letters to the mayors of Barre, Burlington, Montpelier, Newport, Rutland, St. Albans, Vergennes, and Winooski urging them to add their names to the list of signatories, which currently numbers more than 150.
The statement, released last month by the national organization Freedom to Marry, is a public declaration of support for full federal civil marriage equality. Signers represent a broad-based coalition of mayors from cities and towns across America — large and small, from red and blue states alike — who pledge to work “to build an America where all people can share in the love and commitment of marriage.” However, at the time the statement was released, not one Vermont mayor had signed.
“Truth Wins Out and Vermont Freedom to Marry were surprised by Vermont’s lack of representation on the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry Statement, given our state’s longstanding tradition of leadership on LGBT issues,” said Sheryl Rapée-Adams, Board Chair of the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force. “We hope that all the mayors we’ve invited will choose to continue that tradition by signing this statement in support of full marriage equality nationwide.”
“While same-sex couples have the freedom to marry in Vermont, they are still denied the more than 1,100 benefits and protections of civil marriage at the federal level thanks to the discriminatory ‘Defense of Marriage Act,’” said John Becker, Truth Wins Out’s Director of Communications. “Until marriage equality is the law of the land — not just in a handful of states like ours, but from coast to coast — married same-sex couples like my husband and me will continue to face unjust discrimination.”
The campaign has already succeeded in at least one Vermont city: Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss signed the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry statement last Tuesday. ”We are thrilled by Mayor Kiss’s immediate and positive response, and we hope Vermont’s other mayors follow his example,” said Rapée-Adams. “Our state can again show the nation that marriage equality is, quite simply, the right thing to do.”
“Nearly three years after the hard-fought battle that won the freedom to marry for Vermont’s LGBT people, married same-sex couples remain an integral part of the fabric of our state and we are richer for it,” added Becker. “The Vermont experience shows that society is stronger and better when we equally recognize and affirm all loving, committed couples and families.”
Vermont Freedom to Marry is the nonprofit, now-all-volunteer organization that spearheaded the successful effort to pass civil unions and full marriage equality in Vermont. It strives to be a resource for married same-sex couples juggling the complicated and expensive issues surrounding in-state marriage equality and federal/out-of-state discrimination. VFM strives to answer questions around same-sex marrying in Vermont, financial and tax issues, family and child custody concerns, and more. As long as Vermont couples are discriminated against outside our borders and within our state by the federal government, VFM’s work for marriage equality continues.
Truth Wins Out is a national, Burlington-based nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT extremism, religion-based bigotry, and the “ex-gay” myth. Its goal is to create a world where LGBT people can live openly, honestly, and true to themselves. TWO monitors anti-LGBT organizations, documents their lies, and exposes their leaders. It specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating, and fighting for LGBT equality.
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