Saturday’s gathering at the Intervale Center focused on raising awareness of Proposal 2, which would remove references to slavery from the Vermont Constitution.
Proposal 2 would change the language of Vermont’s Constitution to remove contingency clauses and formally abolish slavery, part of a nationwide movement.
While home looks like a snowglobe, lawmakers are wishing Vermont’s Olympians good luck in the Winter Games in Beijing.
Proposal 2 passed the House by an overwhelming vote of 139-3 on Friday. It caps a yearslong legislative process necessary for a constitutional amendment to go before voters.
The lone dissenter was Sen. Dick McCormack, who argued the amendment amounted to putting a 'smiley face' on history.
Slavery was already illegal under the document, but the new language makes clear that it is prohibited regardless of a person’s age, and that indentured servitude is always illegal.
Proponents want to clarify language to make it clear that slavery is not allowed under any circumstances. The other side says changing the constitution is rewriting history.
Because the wording indicates that the prohibition did not pertain to a child or teenage slave, the 1777 Vermont document threatens to be viewed as a blemish instead of being a source of pride.
Among the Democratic Senate leader’s top priorities in upcoming legislative session is a push to pass four constitutional amendments.