When Beth Robinson and Susan Murray co-founded The Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force nearly twenty years ago, the goal of full marriage equality seemed, for many reasons, a distant dream. Same-sex couples did not have the freedom to marry anywhere in the U.S. The possibility of including same-sex couples in civil marriage was not even on many people’s radar screens.
What a difference two decades makes!
Today, marriage equality is a reality in an ever-growing majority of U.S. states. The momentum toward nationwide equality is undeniable. No longer is it a question of if but when.
Throughout these two decades, Vermont Freedom to Marry has been at the epicenter of the push for marriage equality, and the collective voice of equality-supportive Vermonters has been a model for how grassroots activism can blossom and bring about fundamental societal change.
Because of the hard work, dedication, and persistence of all those who believed in the dream, all Vermont marriages are now equal. In short, we did it!
As we look back with pride at our accomplishments in Vermont and forward to when all Americans have an equal right to marry, the time is right to consider the next chapter for Vermont Freedom to Marry. Success means the need for Vermont Freedom to Marry’s e-mail action alerts has diminished. Yet, because equality still depends on where you live, there remains a place for us--as Vermonters and equality pioneers--to stay informed as a community and keep spreading the word on the value of equal marriage for same-sex couples and their families.
We want to keep welcoming additional states into the equality fold and supporting those who are still striving for the dignity and respect same-sex couples and their families receive in Vermont. With the circuit split created by this week’s Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding discriminatory marriage bans in four states, it is very likely the U.S. Supreme Court will be taking up a marriage equality case in the near future.
While VFM will no longer be sending e-mail blasts, we will continue closely following the national marriage-equality movement and bringing the news back to you. We hope you will stay in touch with us.
If social media is not your preference, consider joining the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force’s core volunteer listserv on Google Groups by emailing your request for an invitation to Sheryl@vtfreetomarry.org. Here, you’ll receive regular news updates from the VFM board, along with notices about local equality-related events. Listserv members are welcome to contribute to the conversation.
Finally, we would like to thank each and every one of you reading this for all you have done to help bring about the amazing shift toward marriage equality. We’re not quite at the last chapter of the U.S. freedom-to-marry movement but, because of all we’ve worked together to achieve, it is now within reach.
The VFM Board