U.S. Senator Leahy takes a stand on maple syrup, same-sex marriage

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October 15, 2011

Vermont

Burlington, VT: Patrick Leahy is going to be busy in the next few months. The Democratic Vermont senator made two announcements this week that could change his state - and the country.

Leahy, in a move intended to protect Vermont's maple crop from fraud, announced his intention to introduce legislation that would "make it a federal crime for people to mislabel products as containing maple syrup."[1] According to the Associated Press, his proposal "would create a new federal felony offense and increase the sentences that prosecutors can seek for people who defraud consumers and farmers by intentionally mislabeling maple products."[1]

Of perhaps more pressing national interest, the 7th term Democrat also announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, will vote next month on legislation that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. The 1996 law defines marriage, for purposes of federal law, as a union between a man and a woman and stipulates that no state is required to recognize a marriage that doesn't meet that definition. Leahy feels overturning the law is "part of the nation's continuing fight for civil rights for all Americans."[2]

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