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Friday, March 11, 2022

Vermont Students Walk Out to Protest Anti-LGBTQ Measures

Posted By on Fri, Mar 11, 2022 at 8:21 PM

Burlington High School students at Friday's walkout - CAT CUTILLO
  • Cat Cutillo
  • Burlington High School students at Friday's walkout
At 1 p.m. sharp on Friday, the front doors of Burlington High School’s downtown campus flew open and about 90 percent of the students stepped outside.

Joined by 150 students and faculty from Edmunds Middle School, the large group marched down Cherry Street. They ended up on the steps of City Hall on Church Street, where they rallied with city officials, school staff and administrators, including Mayor Miro Weinberger and Superintendent Tom Flanagan.

The crowd joined high schools across the country participating in a national walkout to support LGBTQ youth and stand against anti-LGBTQ legislation, youth education and health care policy in Florida and Texas. The Queer Youth Assemble, which is based in New England, called for the national walkouts a week ago.

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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Performers in Drag Shine at Burlington High School Halftime Ball

Posted By on Sat, Oct 16, 2021 at 9:15 AM

A drag performer - CAT CUTILLO
  • Cat Cutillo
  • A drag performer
Hundreds of shiny, happy people packed the bleachers at Burlington High School's Buck Hard stadium on Friday night to watch a football game and a drag show.

The Seawolves — a football team made up of Burlington, South Burlington and Winooski players — bested the St. Johnsbury Hilltoppers 35-14. But the loudest cheers from the color-filled stands came during a halftime performance that featured around two dozen costumed students and teachers strutting their stuff in a runway-style drag ball.

Burlington High School's Gender-Sexuality Alliance club planned the event — a striking juxtaposition to the robust masculinity typically on display during football games — as a creative way to show support for the LGBTQ community.

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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Biden Names VT Supreme Court Justice Beth Robinson to U.S. Court of Appeals

Posted By on Thu, Aug 5, 2021 at 11:38 AM

Beth Robinson - FILE PHOTO: JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • File Photo: Jeb Wallace-brodeur ©️ Seven Days
  • Beth Robinson
President Joe Biden on Thursday nominated Vermont Supreme Court Justice Beth Robinson to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Robinson, who led the marriage equality movement in Vermont, could become the first openly LGBTQ woman to hold a judgeship on any federal appeals court, the White House said. Her appointment must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Students Lead the Way in Hinesburg’s First-Ever Pride Parade

Posted By on Sat, Jun 12, 2021 at 5:30 PM

Marchers in Hinesburg - SARA FLEMING
  • Sara Fleming
  • Marchers in Hinesburg
A cheerful crowd of people marched Saturday in Hinesburg's first-ever pride parade, carrying rainbow flags and signs supporting the LGBTQ community.

Students and staff from the Champlain Valley School District organized the event. It included a march from Champlain Valley Union High School to a celebration at Hinesburg Community School, complete with speeches, pride-themed art and ice cream.  Marchers carried signs that announced, "We embrace and celebrate you. You are amazing!" and "Hinesburg LGBTQ+ Pride."

“We wanted to show our support for people in our community that don’t always feel it,” Samantha Raymond said. She's a rising junior at CVU who helped emcee the event.

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Monday, January 27, 2020

Amid Backlash, Group Cancels Burlington Talk on Transgender 'Agenda'

Posted By on Mon, Jan 27, 2020 at 11:14 PM

Fletcher Free Library - FILE: OLIVER PARINI
  • File: Oliver Parini
  • Fletcher Free Library
An organization called Gender Critical Vermont has canceled a public discussion about "the unforeseen consequences of the transgender agenda," saying planned protests would make for an unsafe environment.

The event had been set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington. 

Critics caught wind of the event and vowed to protest the discussion they considered to be an attack on transgender people and their rights.

"The response of the transgender activist community in Burlington follows a familiar pattern of eroding the principles of free speech and rational discussion," Gender Critical Vermont wrote in an email Monday afternoon announcing the cancelation.

Peggy Luhrs, a Burlington resident and lesbian activist since the 1970s, is one of the founders of the group and was scheduled to speak at the event. She told Seven Days the decision to cancel is only temporary.

"We will reschedule," Luhrs said. "We're going to look for a bigger venue, we're going to look for a place where we can have security. There's just no point in having a screaming match."

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Friday, October 4, 2019

Funding Cuts Force Vermont's 2-1-1 Help Line to Reduce Hours

Posted By on Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 6:14 PM

MaryEllen Mendl - COURTESY OF VERMONT 2-1-1
  • Courtesy of Vermont 2-1-1
  • MaryEllen Mendl
Vermonters in need can no longer call 2-1-1 after hours to get help accessing emergency housing or other social services following sharp cutbacks to the program.

As of October 1, the previously 24-7 hotline has pared back its hours to between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Advocates fear the cut will leave people with few options at times they need help the most.


"This is another example of the state deciding to stop providing services to some of the most vulnerable Vermonters,” said Karen Tronsgard-Scott, executive director of the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

The move follows similar cutbacks to court programs  for domestic violence victims in Lamoille and Washington counties, which Tronsgard-Scott said have been discussed for years but occurred recently with little warning. 

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Monday, September 9, 2019

Media Note: Vermont Woman Publishes Final Issue, Seeks Buyer

Posted By on Mon, Sep 9, 2019 at 6:02 PM

The farewell issue - MOLLY WALSH
  • Molly Walsh
  • The farewell issue
Vermont Woman, a newspaper founded 34 years ago that rejected stale stereotypes about what constituted women's issues, has published its final edition and is for sale.

"Letting go is tough. Anytime a newspaper closes, the community it served loses," publisher Suzanne Gillis wrote in the farewell issue that hit newsstands on September 6.

The tribute examines the paper's legacy of reporting on news, arts and the politics of everything from reproductive rights to feminism.

"We did not cover fashion, diets or hairdos," Gillis wrote. As the publication sought to shine a spotlight on the inequities facing women, it rarely included men's viewpoints because, Gillis explained, "they were massively covered in the dominant male-owned and -staffed media."

The goodbye includes a note that the paper is for sale for an unspecified price.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

During Evangelist's Swing Through Vermont, Picketers Greet His Flock

Posted By on Tue, May 21, 2019 at 10:10 PM

Protesters outside Champlain Valley Expo - DEREK BROUWER
  • Derek Brouwer
  • Protesters outside Champlain Valley Expo
A rainbow-themed welcome wagon greeted the thousands who drove to Champlain Valley Exposition on Tuesday to hear evangelist Franklin Graham's star-spangled message of sin and salvation. 

Fifty or so picketers bearing LGBTQ pride flags, bodysuits and hoodies flanked the entrance to the Expo grounds in an eccentric, polite protest of the preacher's anti-gay positions. One man played an accordion.

Rebecca Roose tied a pride flag around her neck like a cape and held a fluorescent sign that offered "Free hugs for sinners."

"I don't believe in the hate he is spewing, and I needed to do something, even though I have protest fatigue," she said.

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Migrant LGBTQ Leader Faces Deportation After ICE Arrest at Courthouse

Posted By on Thu, Jan 24, 2019 at 11:14 AM

Cruz Alberto Sanchez-Perez - COURTESY OF Q2 PHOTOS
  • Courtesy of Q2 Photos
  • Cruz Alberto Sanchez-Perez
A Mexican dairy worker and leader in the immigrant LGBTQ community faces deportation after immigration agents arrested him on New Year's Eve inside a Middlebury courthouse.

Cruz Alberto Sanchez-Perez, known as Beto, had just pleaded not guilty to a charge of driving under the influence when he was scooped up by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, according to Migrant Justice.

The 26-year-old farmworker, who has been in the country since 2015, has filed for asylum in the U.S., claiming that he faced persecution in his home country based on his sexual orientation. After his arrest on immigration charges, Sanchez-Perez was being held at the Strafford County, N.H., detention center and was due to appear at an immigration court in Boston on Thursday, Migrant Justice said.

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

'Samantha Bee' Segment Loves Up Hallquist — and Vermont

Posted By on Thu, Oct 25, 2018 at 1:06 PM

Ashley Nicole Black, left, a correspondent for "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Ashley Nicole Black, left, a correspondent for "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee"
Christine Hallquist is the face of the “rainbow wave,” according to a Wednesday night segment on the TBS show "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee."

The show profiled Vermont's Democratic gubernatorial candidate as one of hundreds of LGBT candidates running for office around the nation. But the comedy segment was as much about Vermont’s politics as it was about Hallquist. The six-minute dispatch shows correspondent Ashley Nicole Black searching for a classic good-versus-evil social justice narrative. But the Vermonters she speaks with focus on broadband access and socioeconomic diversity — not the candidates’ gender politics.

“I’m here to make, like, a beautiful Oscar-winning film about a woman who’s just become, like, a champion for the people,” Black tells Hallquist in a sit-down interview at the beginning of the segment.

“Okay, that’s ... Yeah, sure,” Hallquist responds.

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