Photo by Joseph Gresser, taken at Catamount Arts in St. Johnsbury, September 9, 2006.
copyright the Chronicle August 20, 2014
Jim Jeffords died Tuesday at age 80 after a lifetime of public service. He was a Republican until the party moved away from his core Vermont values. In 2001 he became an Independent. His decision shifted the power in the U.S. Senate to Democrats when much of the Republican Party had veered off into extremism.
Vermonters who appreciated his decision put bumper stickers on their cars: “Thanks, Jim.”
This year’s Valentine’s Day had a message that I hope will raise the day’s usual associations with flowers and chocolate to one of fairness and equality. I never thought the holiday might be seen that way. But it’s so obvious — the day is about couples and love. And as a country, we’re finally developing a broad acceptance that means all couples.
The march to marriage equality has strong, vibrant roots in our state. Twenty years ago, some courageous, committed Vermonters looked at the injustice of unequal marriage rights and decided that had to change.