Equal Rights: Continuing Vermont's Proud Legacy
A more inclusive and just nation that takes into accounts the rights and benefits of all groups is a central part of Peter's vision for Vermont. As our cities and towns become more layered and diverse, it becomes even more critical that Vermont's next Governor works hard to ensure equality of rights. With the right Governor in place, Vermont can lead the nation in ensuring that all our laws are applied equally, encompassing the legitimate concerns of all its citizens -- women, men, lesbians, gays, heterosexuals, Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, or Caucasians.
As President of the Vermont State Senate, Peter worked with Governor Howard Dean to make history in 2000 when Vermont became the first state in the nation to grant same-sex couples the rights and benefits of heterosexual couples.
Peter often tells the story of the day that Barack Obama was elected to be President of the United States. That day, Peter turned on the tv and watched with despair as Californian citizens had their rights taken away from them with Proposition 8. On that day, Peter vowed to pass marriage equality in Vermont.
On April 7th, 2009, Peter and Speaker Shap Smith led the legislature in overturning the Governor's veto of the marriage equality bill. Under Peter's leadership, the marriage equality bill became law and Vermont became the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage by legislative action, not by a court order. This historic moment marked almost twenty years since a governor's veto has been overridden. In November 2009, Peter received the "Marriage Equality Award" from the Human Rights Campaign, for his commitment to equal rights.
Peter has also fought for women's rights throughout his time in the legislature. Peter has a proud record of standing up for a woman's right to choose, universal healthcare for pregnant women, and wage equity.
It took a prolonged struggle to grant equal marriage laws to same-sex couples. Thankfully, it resulted in success. It was another step forward in shaping a better and more civil future for the next generation, but the fight for equal rights is not over. As Governor, Peter will work hard to ensure that this struggle, and others like it, do not fall short in the quest for equal legal protection for every Vermont citizen.
As Governor, Peter will take advantage of the momentous opportunity to make a difference in the central civil rights movement of this generation and to join those who came before us in shaping the march for a more inclusive and just nation. This includes working until all states deliver same sex marriage and taking a stand on the national level in opposing DOMA.
As Governor, Peter will work tirelessly until women in Vermont receive the same amount of money for their hard work as their male colleagues. Women, today make 81 cents from every dollar that a man earns. This is unacceptable. As Governor, Peter will fight for wage equity in Vermont.
As Governor, Peter will take advantage of the momentous opportunity to make a difference in the central civil rights movement of this generation, joining those who came before us in the march for a more inclusive and just nation.
Women today make 81 cents from every dollar that a man earns.