Rev. Jane Dwinell
When the call came, I was not surprised. I was, at first, flattered, and then petrified. I had been asked to speak before the Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the Civil Union Bill, one of six clergy to testify on a morning in March—three in favor, three against. I knew my subject—or thought I did—but did not know what actually I should do when testifying. This is what I learned:
Now that Civil Unions are legal in Vermont, I can look back on the whirlwind of testimony and community presence that I and the members of my congregation provided this past winter. We worked hard, but we worked together, with other UUs around Vermont, to ensure the passage of the Bill. Our work is not done, as we must ensure the re-election of each Senator and Representative who voted for the Bill.
The experience of helping pass an important piece of legislation will always be with me. Even now, each time I say, "By the power vested in me by the State of Vermont, I now pronounce you spouses joined in civil union," tears come to my eyes. I know that committed people, working together from the ground up, can change the world.
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Last updated on Wednesday, August 24, 2011.
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