About Me

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Vermont, United States
Wannabe world traveler, I have lived in CA, Hawaii, New Mexico, and am now back on the East Coast where I was born and lived til I was 23. Some of my favorite places are S of France, Bali and India. Italy and Thailand,Spain, along with Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the British countryside are at the top of my wish list, along with NZ. Australia was interesting, as I am half Aussie, and I'd like to explore more of it next time. My reason for doing this blog is that I want to see great ideas get around, my own and my friends', in order to make life better and wonderful for the people of the world. I want to see kids fed, adults educated, people's health needs met, ALL people happy, prosperous, living with joy and in peace. PS I am also ALL about having a good time, enjoying life and being in amusement wherever possible and creating heaven on earth! Wouldn't mind seeing an end to capitalism as we know it here in the US either, and a more socialist system like they have in Europe where workers have more rts and a decent std of living :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Overview: GLBT Marriage in Vermont:; VT Politics, Governor Douglas and Tea Parties. April 16, 2009

It's been an incredibly exciting couple of months. Who knew three wks ago that we would be able to pull off this miracle??! I feel so incredibly privileged to have been a part of this history in the making... equal marriage rights for all Vermonters.

I say we because I was one of thousands of footsoldiers in this campaign. Vermont Freedom to marry got us all together in letter writing campaigns, little parties and coffee klatches all over the state. Wonderful women Sheryl (from my UU Church) and Robyn and her lover Naomi and their baby traipsed all over the state (along with so many others) to make this amazing victory happen.

My impressions center mostly around the Capital in Montpelier. You can imagine my excitement at entering this beautiful, historic building, with its soaring ceilings and long burgundy velvet drapes, its gorgeous portraits of admirable former governors, Madeleine Kunin and my personal hero Howard Dean among them..

Dean's portrait apparently was un peu de scandale when it first emerged. He is sitting by one of so many Vermont lakes, paddle in hand. Wearing hiking boots, flannel shirt, jeans. My kind of guy. Of course the traditionalists had a hard time, calling him LL Dean. Others wondering where he was paddling to, on the shore, w no boat. (they had a point there :)

Howard Dean has been my own personal hero since he presided over the first civil unions bill, brought health care to most of Vermont, and then had the guts to Speak Truth to Power in his own run for President, against the Village Idiot GW Bush back in 2004. Before the Mainstream Media (after this referred to as MSM) sabotaged his run for president with the famous Dean Scream ( a dirty trick which I'll talk about sometime). Try to imagine our country today, if the media had not sabotaged Dean and he had beaten GWBush.

Dean, in case you dont know, was the first to speak out against the war in Iraq, the first to do internet fundraising, and in his position as head of the DNC, was the one who stood up to Rahm Emanuel and refused to hand over his funds for Rahm's middle of the road (Republican -Lite) candidates. Those funds were meant for the FIFTY STATE STRATEGY- Dean's brilliant brainstorm which resulted in Obama's astounding victory.. 55% or something (dont quote me, terrible on numbers) which was doubly astounding considering that the Diebold and ES &S voting machines are still operating, which means any Dem candidate has to deal with at least 5% cheating from Repub -based hacking. But did Obama reward Dean for this? Or even acknowledge him? Au Contraire...

But I digress.

So I walked into this historic and beautifully kept building, in the style of old, gorgeous Vermont buildings, and I have to say, I was so impressed. I've been in a lot of capitals and museums and public buildings, growing up near D.C. (many field trips)..All white plaster walls, even huge coatrooms had a sense of history, and the bathrooms were stunning as well. But the crown jewel, the piece de Resistance was the Hall where the legislators sat. Soaring windows, light, a beautiful balcony, red velvet chairs in a line by the podium, facing the legislators at their desks. And the ceiling - it seemed to capture for the room - to magnify and bounce back to the audience - the energy of the desires, the hopes and dreams of our huge group of wholesome looking middle aged couples and hot singles who dreamed of one day finding that Mr or MS Right to marry. The room felt hopeful (and overheated) and excited and idealistic.

I'd been there once before, for GLBT Visibility Day. In February, hundreds of gorgeous lesbians (who I'd never seen before, but would love to see again :), and a lot of friendly gay men too, crowded into the room beside the governor's office. A small group had gone in to see Governor Douglas, but that group was so limited that you'd think no one wanted to go, large spaces remained and the cameras later picked that up on the news. You'd think he was afraid of us.

But we were and are a very happy, well behaved group. We cheered and were so excited when the senators and house members introduced the Equal Marriage Bill, and then we spent a little time lobbying our leg members in the cafeteria over lunch, and then went home. No big deal. Still, a lot of organized people, focussed like a laser beam on our rights... Not exactly the group you want to pick a fight with.

But Douglas knew better. He thought he could pick a fight with GLBTs in VT and win, and with the State workers, cut state services to the poor and disabled, protect the wealthy in VT from paying their fair share of taxes, and basically put GW's coalition of the wealthy and the angry -about -taxes, and the homophobes back together. All this and getting photographed with Obama in the Oval Office. Boggles the Mind.. My friends and I were reeling at the political savvy and the just plain evil nature of the divide and conquer game being played here.

(PS - DISCLAIMER - my opinions here are MY OWN and I am no spokesperson for VT Freedom to Marry)

So far as the Republican winning coalition goes, he may be right. Yesterday I attended (as an infiltrator from Huffpo :) a "tea party" also known among my Facebook friends as a "teabagging event". Right in downtown Rutland, the second largest city in VT. I wont get into the definition of that term, you can google it yourself if curious.

I saw the biggest crowd I've ever seen for any demo here in VT (of course I dont live in Burlington). About 200 people, all white, ranging from pissed off Libertarian Ayn Rand-type wealthy who dont believe in taxes apparently, to paranoid 9-11 conspiracy theorists, to those who hate the Fed and the Banks & want tax cuts, and all around them, poor people who hate the bank bailout - and the fact that THEY arent getting bailed out on their mortgage (and with this group of the poor I have great sympathy, but they need to stop watching Fox). Basically the greedy, the selfish in charge, surrounded by those in despair without the education to watch Rachel and Keith and figure out who REALLY is screwing them over.

Obama is very popular in VT, and racism is not cool. I saw no racist signs, unlike other states. So I'd say from the loudness and the level of passion I observed from individual participants, Obama has some problems on his plate, and his message is not getting through to those who are suffering. Fox is recruiting these people to the GOP party of NO and it would behoove the Obama admin (and hey, I worked for the guy in 3 states and gave him money) to quit bailing out the banditos at the banks and get on middle class tax relief and extend the Moratorium on Home Foreclosures! I heard a bunch of folks tell me that Middle Class taxes were going to GO UP when the Bush tax cuts expired. Rahm and O- time to quit appeasing the rich and focus on the poor and struggling who are also your constituency.

PS- This is not an "Eat the Rich" column. I have it on good authority that many of the wealthy here in this enlightened state of VT do not mind paying higher taxes in order to maintain a decent quality of life for all Vermonters. And I am told that because of Douglas' veto threat and generally hateful and divisive behavior, that he is losing the support of major conservative contributors, and we, the gay community, may finally be instrumental in seeing the end of his reign.. and that would be so good for Vermont.

More on WHAT ITS LIKE TO BE POOR IN VT to come in another column.

*************************TO BE CONTINUED**************************************


  1. it would be so great for ALL of VT if Douglas were to be defeated by one of the several able candidates that are coming to the fore now. Doug Racine, Senators Shumlin & Shap Smith and Deb Markowitz are the ones that stand out..

  2. Galactic congrats to all the marriage warriors out there! I'm so powerfully happy for you!

    And by the way, I'm a wedding celebrant who'd be more than pleased to perform the ceremony any and all marital aspirants.

    Website at http://kathrynblume.com/weddings.htm

    Good luck and great fortune one and all!