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Free speech victory led by Vermont Furs.
Fursuiters were banned from costuming on the street, and it was unfair. Burlington VT had an antiquated anti-mask law to regulate groups like the KKK. In the 1960’s, the officials who made the law could never imagine the future-people hobby of fursuiting. Imagine a fursuit parade colliding with the hooded creeps. It would be like matter meeting antimatter, with an explosion of rainbows and a fallout of fluff for miles around. To update the law to better serve it’s spirit, members of the Vermont Furs went in front of the city council, and got the law changed. Now it only bans hiding behind masks to commit crime. Hugging isn’t a crime yet, so thanks guys for setting a great example nationwide. Fursonas are free expression!
There’s video here, and from Vermont Public Radio:
Last year, two men were detained by Burlington Police for violating the ordinance by wearing masks to a political rally. The detention was controversial, and the head of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Vermont chapter questioned the constitutionality of the mask ban.
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said that incident, paired with pushback from a community of “furries” – people who like to dress up as furry, caricaturized animals – led the city to reexamine its mask ordinance.
The co-moderator of Vermont Furs got the media to call furries “a collection of artists, writers, animators, actors, and our passion is all things cartoon animals.” (Notice what they don’t call it.) On Furaffinity, Zander Stealthpaw noticed that the furs helped much more than their own small group:
You guys help contribute to a very good cause, and I’m sure Vermont Comic Con would be just as ecstatic over this change.
“Fursonas” documentary movie gets a national tour, a pile of press, and spirited discussion.
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