Vermonters Protest California's Same Sex Marriage Ban - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermonters Protest California's Same Sex Marriage Ban

Burlington, Vermont - November 15, 2008

From California, to New York, to downtown Burlington, thousands turned out in all 50 states this week to voice their opposition to Proposition 8.

"I was so angry because it's just bigoted legislation," said James Neily, a protester in Vermont.

Proposition 8 is the ballot measure passed in California on election day that bans gay marriage. That legislation throws into question the legality of more than 18,000 marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

"It's shameful. It's un-American," said one Burlington protester. "This is a very frightening development for all of us," added another.

A steady downpour symbolized the mood in Burlington. Same sex couples stood in solidarity holding signs while speakers stepped up to the mike to share their fears.

In 2000 Vermont became the first state in the country to legalize civil unions for same sex couples. Several other states have since followed suit. Earlier this year California became the second state in the nation to legalize same sex marriages. But Proposition 8 repeals that law.

"It's one thing to deny them in the first place, but when you have them and they're taken away I think that's just terrible," said Neily.

It's legislation with potential far reaching implications, as gay and lesbians here push for passage of a same sex marriage law in the Green Mountain State, despite the decision in California.

Keagan Harsha - WCAX News

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