(11/14/2000) An e-mail petition that encourages you to show your support for gay rights legislation in Vermont continues to circulate long after the legislation was passed.
SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT
To Whom it May Concern:
As you may know, the Supreme Court of Vermont recently ruled that committed homosexual relationships should have the same rights and privileges afforded to married straight couples. For those of you who are hesitant, please note this does not confer any "special rights," merely the same rights already conferred upon heterosexual couples. There are over 1,000 rights that come with marriage which are currently denied to gay couples including hospital visitation/medical decisions, rights of survivorship, power of attorney, filing joint tax returns, etc.
This is a VERY important first step towards equality in America. However, the Governor's office of Vermont has been BOMBARDED with phone calls by antigay individuals opposing the recent decision primarily fueled by the "Doctor" Laura radio program which gave out the phone number. A friend called the Governor's office, and spoke to the secretary, who was VERY nice but said that she (the friend) was one of only a HANDFUL of callers who SUPPORT this huge step towards equal rights. If you support this cause, please add your name to the following list. COPY (not FORWARD, to avoid all those >>> marks along the left), this into a new e-mail and send it to your friends. When the list reaches 50 people, please send it to: email@example.com and start a new list with yourself as 1.
Dear Lieutenant Governor Douglas A. Racine, We the undersigned, deeply support your move to assure equal rights for same-sex partners in the state of Vermont. You have taken a historical step toward mending the many fractures that divide our society. We believe your action is both constitutionally and morally correct. The following list is composed of individuals both straight and gay. Thank you for your continued support and your forward-thinking politics.
END CHAIN LETTER TEXT
Duncan Goss, Director of Information Technologies for the Vermont Legislative Council told BreakTheChain.org that this chain has been around since at least early 1999:
"Thank you for your interest in the email petition. The 'To Whom It May Concern' chain letter has been around since last spring, when the civil unions issue was being debated in the Vermont Legislature. The civil union bill passed in April, and is now law in the State of Vermont, so this letter is somewhat out of date.
"While the civil unions bill, H.847, was being debated by the Vermont Legislature, the members received a significant amount of mail from people around the country on this issue, both in support and in opposition. However, the premise of the chain letter, that the offices of the Vermont state government are being bombarded by a one-sided flood of calls and letters simply was not and is not correct.
"Letters and messages which discuss the sender's opinion on any topic are generally welcomed by the members of the Vermont Legislature, but the public should be aware that, after a certain number of messages have been received on any subject, most recipients tend to give the remainder at most a cursory viewing."