Vermont lawmakers seek to remove slavery from constitution

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont has a proud history of being the first state to abolish adult slavery in 1777. Now lawmakers want to make sure that any reference to slavery is removed from the state constitution.

Colorado voters last year approved a similar constitutional amendment, and Utah lawmakers are taking up a comparable measure this year.

The Vermont Constitution says no person 21 years or older should serve as a slave unless bound by their own consent or “by law for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like.”

Sen. Debbie Ingram, a lead sponsor of the constitutional amendment, says slavery should be deleted because it’s “a morally reprehensible and antiquated institution.” She says the wording “reflects badly on the state and it sends the wrong message especially to people of color.”

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