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Opposition to the proposal was strong — and, in some instances, vitriolic.In its own letter to the aldermen, dated June 16, the Vermont branch of the Maranatha Christian Church argued against such a proclamation.
The bill was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, husband of Sanders' rival for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton.
Opponents, such as Alderman Diane Gallagher, a Ward 6 Republican, questioned why the march required official recognition.
"Can't you just go out and have your party and enjoy yourselves and make your point without asking the city to have a proclamation? Sanders indicated at the meeting that he would sign the proclamation, according to the Freeps' Scott Mackay.
"In the city of Burlington and in the state of Vermont, people have the right to exercise their lifestyles," Sanders said.
"We will express our sympathy with the sick humanity that is involved in this sin but can in no way on God's earth and in light of His scripture condone or even sit back and not voice God's word," the church wrote as it requested permission to testify on the matter.
After quite some debate at a June 13 meeting, the board voted six to five in favor of designating the date of the march Lesbian and Gay Pride Day, according to a contemporaneous story from the Burlington Free Press.