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48 posts categorized "Gay Marriage" Feed

October 08, 2009

VT to NJ: Say 'I Do'

IMG_0249Vermont's top legislative leaders today lent some advice to their counterparts in New Jersey who may soon debate a bill to make same-sex marriage legal in the Garden State.

 In their letter, Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin (D-Windham) and House Speaker Shap Smith (D-Morristown) urged their counterparts in New Jersey to follow Vermont's lead and legalize same-sex marriage.

"In 2009, we passed a law ensuring that same-sex couples could legally marry in Vermont — by an overwhelming margin of at least two-thirds in each chamber," the pair wrote. "After nine years of living with our civil union law, the Vermont legislature understood that the passage of time would never bridge the significant gap between civil unions and equality."

In April, Vermont lawmakers overrode a veto by Gov. Jim Douglas and made Vermont the fourth state to make same-sex marriage legal, but the first to do so by legislative fiat.

Continue reading "VT to NJ: Say 'I Do'" »

September 19, 2009

This is What Gay Marriage Looks Like

Dana Kaplan and Katie Dyer got married last Saturday at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe. Seven Days video journalist Eva Sollberger captured the ceremony and reception on camera for this week's episode of "Stuck in Vermont."

You might recognize Dana Kaplan from Burlington indie-pop band, The Smittens. Yep, that's Dana, singing the "Stuck in Vermont" theme song.

Congratulations, Dana and Katie!

September 01, 2009

Hatin' with the Phelpses: Epilogue...

...wherein Lauren waxes philosophical and crap about hanging with the haters.

Now that the charming and affable Phelps clan of Westboro Baptist Church infamy have finished up their whistle-stop tour of hate here in Vermont and have zoomed out of the state in their peppy little Kia minivan, it might be appropriate to reflect on the day. Other people more introspective and cerebral than I might offer some sort of analysis about hate and peace and love and all that junk, but I can only tell you what I took away from the day. And in order to tell you what I took away from the day, I have to tell you what the day entailed. So here goes. Apologies if you nod off.

I hauled my fanny out of bed at 6 a.m., which for a reporter is like being asked to do math or not make stuff up. I hit the road to Montpelier by 6:45 a.m. so I could make it to the high school in time to watch the Swiss Family Bonkers picket students as they rolled into school for their first day back from summer vaykay. Of course when I arrived I was the last media person on the scene. Everyone was there- radio, TV, the daily print papers from around the region. No one was going to miss the most exciting thing to happen to sleepy Vermont since gay marriage.

Everything about the scene was predictable. The signs the four adults Phelpses waved were the same ones they trot out for every soldier's funeral, football game and Catholic church they picket. They read "God Hates You," "Fags Wed," "Antichrist Obama" and "Mourn for Your Sins." I quite liked the sign that read "You Will Eat Your Babies." Still not sure why I might be inclined to eat my babies, but I truly hope it never comes to that; I'm a vegetarian.

My personal favorite was the sign that read "Bitch Burger" and showed a picture of a hamburger with a baby making up half the bun. When I asked Shirley Phelps-Roper, the multi-childrened daughter of church founder Fred Phelps — Shirls to me — what that meant, she broke into some tirade about people in California eating baby eyeballs. Right, then.

Continue reading "Hatin' with the Phelpses: Epilogue..." »

Hatin' with the Phelpses- part 4

11:15 a.m.- After a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday outside of OZ Synagogue- "Happy Birthday to Kennedy's death, Happy Birthday to Kennedy's death, the Jews lost their favorite waterboy, Happy Birthday to Kennedy's death"- the Phelpses piled into their sweet Kia Sedona and hightailed it out of town. Please indulge me in a few observations:

1. The Phelpses (and I say Phelpses because there wasn't a one of them who wasn't part of the clan. They like to keep in the fam, nomsayin?) are nothing if not law-abiding. There's not a jaywalker among them. They hit every crosswalk and followed every directive they're given by police. When they were told to stand in the greenbelt outside of Chabad, goshdarnit, they stood in the greenbelt. I bet they even drive the speed limit.

2. The Phelpses are really fast walkers. Shirls is a powerhouse. She could go to the Hate Olympics for speedwalking.

3. The Phelpses are really bad singers. No, like REALLY bad. Like braying donkey bad.

4. The Phelpses are not nice. Despite appearances, they're actually pretty mean. Shirls told me I didn't look like a professional journalist. Ok, what part of my jeans, T-shirt, sneaker outfit made me look unprofessional?

5. The Phelpses don't really have their facts straight. Shirls called Seven Days a "fag paper," which I take exception to since neither of the female owners of the paper are fags. They're not even dykes.  WTF!!! Factcheck, Shirls, before you make outrageous claims like that.

IMG_3316 Oh, how I love college kids.

Nothin' says get the hell out of our state like a little pie in the face.

Hatin' with the Phelpses- part 3

10:22 a.m.- Phew, hating is exhausticating. I'm pooped from all this picketing. The singing and the running and the sign-holding- I'm not sure if they work out to train for all this hating, but I can barely keep up.

So here's what's happened so far- I sprinted from Montypee in my little Vibrator, passing a few cops along the way at 80 mph to catch up with the Phelpses at UVM. It's not like anything new would happen- they're still hating, only now they're changing the words to John Denver's "Country Road." Their harmony is pretty beautious.

At the present moment, Shirls is outside the Chabad of Vermont wearing a bloody apron made from Israeli, U.S. and rainbow flags, is screaming at a man wearing a t-shirt that says "Super Jew," telling him to wipe the feces from the corners of his mouth. Classy.

Now they're heading over to Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, the last stop on the tour de hate. Stay tuned.

Somebody did some good preparin'.

Shirls, your apron is sorta gross.

Hatin' with the Phelpses- part 2

8:32 a.m.- Ok, I'm freezing my sweet ones off with all this hatin'. I'm wondering if the Phelpses brought the chill with them from Kansasss.

Things have been pretty amusing thus far. Here are the highlights:

- As I was taking pictures on the sidewalk in front of the hate clan, I was called a brut and told to get off the sidewalk. Shirls was all like "Just because you're a dyke doesn't mean you can block the sidewalk." Ok, so how did she know I was gay? She has some pretty finely tuned gaydar for a breeder.

- Props to the Montpelier High School students who came out to counterprotest, especially the fellow sans shirt and the girl with braces who called them "media sluts." Love it.

- Many people have driven by and screamed out the windows at the Phelpses. They seem unfazed by it. Like when the guy in the pickup truck yelled "Fuck you and fuck Jesus, too" they didn't even balk. They just kept on singing their hate tunes. Brills.

- Shirls is a pretty awesome lyricist. She's like Bernie Taupin, only she hates fags. And she's bankrupt. Anyway, she's all singing up some craziness to the Beatles "Let it be," changing the words to blah, blah, blah, thank god for dead soldiers or some such nonsense.

- Bake sale!!!! Some kids organized a bakesale outside of the statehouse during the picket. If I had more than two nickels to rub together, I totally would have noshed on one of those love cupcakes. It'd certainly be better than Shirls' bitch burgers.

- Awesome quote from Shirls: "Whenever God smacks you, we'll be there." Um, how can God smack me? He doesn't have any hands. Or arms.

More pics:


What is Santa's Little Helper doing on her sign?


This is what Vermont looks like.

Hatin' with the Phelpses- part 1

Today the great state of Vermont is being visited by Kansian hatemongers, the Westboro Baptist Church. As expected, the morning got off to a rollicking start full of singing and hating and flag-stomping. Fun for the whole family, including 7 y.o. Luke Phelps-Roper, ringleader Shirley Phelps-Roper's 11th child, who has been shivering his hate-filled socks off for the past 40 minutes.

8:03 a.m.- The Phelpses have just taken up their station in front of the Statehouse. They are joined by about 100 counterprotesters wearing everything from clown suits to God getups. It's pretty sweet. I asked Phelps-Roper what a "Bitch Burger" is and she talked to me about p eople in California eating their babies eyeballs. Cool. Here are some pics:

This is what child abuse looks like.

This is what balls looks like.

Ok, I'm going to get back to the hating. More later.

PS- Shirley is a mad-good singer. I'm going get one of her albums.

More later.

August 18, 2009

Westboro Baptist Band of Crazies Coming to VT?

God-hates-signs Friends, I cannot tell you how excited I am. OK, I'll tell you. On Sept. 1, in the year of our lord two thousand niner, Fred Phelps, the hate-spewing sign-monger from Kansas, will be gracing us with his presence here in the Green Mountain State. Well, he'll probably just be sending his minions, and by minions I mean his toothy daughter Shirley and her umpteen inbred children. They're coming to protest our little state for crimes against a wrathful God or some such nonsense.

Here's a little background on Mr. Phelps (no relation to human fish cum mad toker Michael Phelps) and his Westboro Baptist Church. Apparently God visited Phelps and was all like, "Yo son, what's wrong with this world? Dudes are doing other dudes and it goes against my will 'n' shit." And Phelps was all like, "Oh, word, homes. Guys screwing other guys in the poopshoot ain't cool. I gotta do sumpin' about this." And God was all like, "Dawg, you need to represent me on Earth. Ain't nobody down there listening to me." And Phelps was all like, "God/Jesus/the holy spirit, I feel you. You can count on me." Then he started making crazypants signs that say God Hates Fags and Thank God For AIDS and other awesome stuff like that. Sign Guy Steve totally ripped them off.

Continue reading "Westboro Baptist Band of Crazies Coming to VT?" »

June 02, 2009

VT Advocate makes "The Advocate"

Outright Vermont activist James Neiley of Charlotte made headlines during the gay marriage debate for his ardent testimony before the state legislature. He's in the news again this month. National gay magazine The Advocate named him as one of its "40 under 40."

Neiley, 17, admitted to The Advocate that his experience at the statehouse had caused him to reconsider his career path. The fashion and business enthusiast is now leaning more towards — you guessed it — activism. 

Neiley, still too young to vote, is receiving praise and thanks on The Advocate's comment pages. 

April 17, 2009

Log Cabin GOP Thanks VT Reps

The national Log Cabin Republicans today announced it will award the 2009 Uncommon Courage Award to eight Vermont GOP legislators who voted for marriage equality.

“Log Cabin Republicans congratulates our Republican colleagues who have courageously voted for marriage equality in the Vermont state legislature. We celebrate their commitment to the inherent conservative principles of limited government and personal responsibility in addition to basic fairness,” stated Log Cabin Republicans Board Chairman Terry Hamilton in a statement. “I am proud to announce that these eight outstanding legislators will receive the 2009 Uncommon Courage Award, highlighting and acknowledging their resolve to vote their conscience in the face of much opposition.”

Vermont State Rep. Anne Donahue (R-Northfield) will travel to Washington, D.C., to accept the award on behalf of House Republican Caucus Chairwoman Patti Komline (R-Dorset), state Senators Diane Snelling (R-Chittenden) and Kevin Mullin (R-Rutland), as well as state Representatives Richard Hube (R-Londonderry), Heidi Scheuermann (R-Stowe), Richard Westman (R-Cambridge), and Kurt Wright (R-Burlington).

On April 7, the Vermont House voted 100-49 to override Republican Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of the same-sex marriage bill. The Vermont Senate voted 25-5 to override the bill.

"I think it was a real tribute to our party that in the midst of a very controversial debate, it stayed firm in its philosophy that members have the right to vote their own conscience. There was tremendous public pressure to change our votes and support the governor's veto, but no arm-twisting from within the caucus, and the governor himself honored his word respecting this as a personal issue: he did not try to sway votes,” said Donahue. "There were 11 Democrats who voted against their party in the House, and with huge internal pressure, three changed votes. However the six Republicans stayed firm with their original votes in support of the bill, and each one of those votes proved critical to passage."

The Log Cabin Republicans and the Liberty Education Forum will present the award on Saturday, April 18.

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