March 20th, 2009

The Invisible War Against More Marriage

by Philip Baruth

Two campaigns going on right now to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage in Vermont: the visible and the invisible, with the first centered on the hearings taking place in Montpelier, and the second happening on AM radio dials and in late-night fax bursts statewide. Since the coverage of the former has been nailed down tight by the major media outlets in the state, let’s stay with the latter, with the bad, the bad, and the ugly. Longtime-reader BP writes in with this choice tale:

Dear VDB,

Way early this morning my friend in East Calais was awakened by the phone. He stumbled downstairs to find the attached fax [above] oozing from his machine. It is not a sight that anyone should be subjected to ungirded by coffee and advance warning — or even at all.

I don’t know how widespread this fax bomb was statewide, although according to my friend, the guy who answered the phone at the VT office of the AP said they received one, too (he just threw it away).

Anyway, I thought you’d appreciate this. Puts Mark Shepard to shame, no? Imagine accusing gays of wanting a “camoflaged [sic] scenario”! I don’t know about you, but none of my gay friends would be caught dead in camo: it doesn’t go with anything.

Happy trails,


We’ve been having fun with Mark Shepard’s uptight little letter-writing campaign against VDB on the marriage issue, but it’s worth remembering that as out of step as Shepard’s ideas seem in the early twenty-first century, he’s still not the worst actor out there, by a good long shot.

Get down into the weeds of this blast fax, and you’ll discover some mental iron-rot that’ll ruin your sleep for a week.

And that’s not all: the folks who brought you the Prop 8 campaign out in California, with all that sexy synergy between the fundamentalist Christian and Mormon advocacy groups, are up on the air in Vermont with a new radio campaign.

Again, sort of laughable stuff, until you really bore down into it. And then you feel like laughing all the way to the Army/Navy store, to pick up some good lightly-used Kevlar vests.

Late Update, Friday, 1:55 pm:

EG writes in to say that he too received this blast fax, and wasn’t amused: “Got it at work, and left a rather nasty message on their machine. One thing worth noting: there is no originating number on the fax header. Seems like I read somewhere, that’s illegal.”

Illegal indeed. But happening just the same.