Three things you do not know.

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    Apr 09, 2009 11:59 AM GMT
    By now most of you know that the vote to override the governor's veto of equal marriage rights passed by 1 vote in the Vermont House of Representatives. Here are 3 things you do not know.

    1) At 8:30 AM on morning of the vote, House Majority Leader, Floyd Nease (D-Johnson) got a phone call. His mother was being rushed to the emergency room by ambulance. He knew that there were not enough votes at that moment to override the governor's veto. Every vote was critical, and it was his job as majority leader to get as many Democrats as possible to support the override. His vote was also needed if there was any chance of the override to be successful. If he left the floor to go to the hospital, the override would fail, there were no extra votes. Representative Nease stayed on the floor of the House and voted Yes. As soon as the vote was over, about 11:00 AM, he left the chamber to go to the hospital. His mother had died.

    2) Jeff Young is a Democrat, a first term representative from a traditionally Republican area, St. Albans. His district is located near the Quebec border, it is conservative, and is made up of many people of French-Canadian descent. On the original bill, he voted No, against gay marriage, which is what is believed to be the majority of his district would want him to do. A first term legislator is particularity vulnerable at reelection. The Republicans have made it known that they are aiming for his seat, and would jump at the chance to use a vote in favor of gay marriage against him. He was under heavy pressure from all sides. The voters in his district, the Democratic leaders, friends, people he saw on the street, everyone. Remember, Vermont is filled with small towns. Everyone knows everyone. You see them at the local general store (yes, we still have those), at the gas station, at church, almost every where you go, you know someone there. He gave public interviews where he said that anyone who would change their vote now, would be stupid. It would make no sense to vote No on gay marriage, but then vote Yes to override the veto. When he arrived at the State House on Tuesday, he was torn. He did not know how he was going to vote. It was not until the vote roll call was underway that he made up his mind. The names were called in alphabetical order, so Young, would be near the end. When his name was called, he voted Yes.

    3) Beth Robinson was a successful lawyer in Washington, D.C. In 1993 she took a 66% pay cut, and moved to Vermont. She wanted a different life. One that she believed she could have in Vermont. In the mid-1990's she started looking for gay couples who were willing to sue the state of Vermont to obtain marriage licenses. She found 3 couples, an older lesbian couple, a young lesbian couple with a small child, and a gay male couple. In 1999, their case before the Vermont Supreme Court became known as Baker v. State. In it, the court ruled that the benefits of marriage could not be denied to gay & lesbians, and left it to the legislature to grant those benefits. Equal marriage was not mandated, but equal legal rights were. In 2000 there were only 22 votes for full marriage in the House. The term civil unions was invented, which granted all the rights of marriage, but without the name. This became law in 2000. Ms. Robinson knew that this was only a stepping stone to full equality. She lead the Vermont Freedom To Marry Task Force, pushed for full equality, and now, 14 years later, she won that victory. She calls marriage equality, the Civil Rights battle of our generation.
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    Apr 09, 2009 2:57 PM GMT


    Hey Outdoormutt,

    This gave me a terrible stab of grief,
    "1) At 8:30 AM on morning of the vote, House Majority Leader, Flyod Nease (D-Johnson) got a phone call. His mother was being rushed to the emergency room by ambulance. He knew that there were not enough votes at that moment to override the governor's veto. Every vote was critical, and it was his job as majority leader to get as many Democrats as possible to support the override. His vote was also needed if there was any chance of the override to be successful. If he left the floor to go to the hospital, the override would fail, there were no extra votes. Representative Nease stayed on the floor of the House and voted Yes. As soon as the vote was over, about 11:00 AM, he left the chamber to go to the hospital. His mother had died."

    -and this Canadian admires Mr Nease so greatly for the above that I will carry a heart-broken sorrow over him missing final moments with his Mom for a very long time....
    ...gladly....


    -Doug of meninlove
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    Apr 09, 2009 3:08 PM GMT
    Outstanding. These people in their own right, are civil rights champions. One-the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the one and it cost him the last moments with his mom. The second, didn't give into political bullying and voted with his conscience. Afterall, the out constitution is meant to protect the minority when the majority seeks to oppress, in a nutshell. And the third, while her motivation could be seen as making a name for herself, did exaclty what she wanted to do and helped start this ball rolling along with the 3 couples who sued. My hat is off to them and I do call them Champions.
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    Apr 09, 2009 3:11 PM GMT
    OutdoorMutt said

    1) At 8:30 AM on morning of the vote, House Majority Leader, Flyod Nease (D-Johnson) got a phone call. His mother was being rushed to the emergency room by ambulance. He knew that there were not enough votes at that moment to override the governor's veto. Every vote was critical, and it was his job as majority leader to get as many Democrats as possible to support the override. His vote was also needed if there was any chance of the override to be successful. If he left the floor to go to the hospital, the override would fail, there were no extra votes. Representative Nease stayed on the floor of the House and voted Yes. As soon as the vote was over, about 11:00 AM, he left the chamber to go to the hospital. His mother had died.



    WOW! I want to cry! That's real sacrifice as representative, a true testament to what politicians should be about - working for the rights of their citizens, no matter what. I wish I could just give him a giant hug!
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    Apr 09, 2009 4:22 PM GMT
    ErikTaurean saidOutstanding. These people in their own right, are civil rights champions. One-the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the one and it cost him the last moments with his mom. The second, didn't give into political bullying and voted with his conscience. Afterall, the out constitution is meant to protect the minority when the majority seeks to oppress, in a nutshell. And the third, while her motivation could be seen as making a name for herself, did exactly what she wanted to do and helped start this ball rolling along with the 3 couples who sued. My hat is off to them and I do call them Champions.


    yes, and I also call them HEROES.