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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Napa Councilmember Van Gorder pushes City to support equality, overturn Prop 8; Register commenters react

As reported here first, Napa City Council member Mark Van Gorder, at Tuesday's Council meeting, asked the City to take up a resolution to support equality and overturn Proposition 8. The wording of the resolution is:
The city of Napa supports equal protection, which prohibits unequal government treatment of historically targeted minority groups and ensures that laws enacted by a majority must apply equally to all people.
How very telling it will be if the City Council declines to approve this measure. What does it mean if our City doesn't support equal protection? Sadly, it would only confirm what many minority residents and visitors have felt: that Napa is a City for a select few--the rich, the white, those with power and property.

What a very empowering, and surprising turning point it would be to live in a City, like Napa, that would make a proclomation in support of equality and justice for all. Isn't it sadly ironic that in a democratic land where equality and justice are American ideals that any would call for the City to not pass such a resolution?

And yet, meanwhile, the comments at the Napa Register's website are telling about what people (at least a very vocal, opinionated few) really think. Here are a select few:

krusty wrote on Mar 6, 2009 12:28 PM:

" Good luck, savenapa. I believe 60% of Napa's voters voted in opposition to Prop. 8. I fully support Van Gorder and his position.

An interesting side note is that LGBT tourism is one of the fastest growing tourist segments. The gay and lesbian segment is estimated at $55 billion annual market as of 2007. The city is wise to promote itself as LGBT friendly. And with San Francisco close by, it makes even more sense. "

CaliGirl wrote on Mar 6, 2009 1:12 PM:

" I voted against same sex marriages......I will continue to vote against, protest against, stand out against same sex marriages until my last breath is taken.

I live in Napa......Napa has no place telling anyone that I support the idea of same sex marriages.....which is what they would be doing if they followed Mr. Van Gorder's request

The City of Napa MUST stay neutral in this debate. Unless 100% of the citizens of Napa were for same sex marriages their is no place for the City of Napa to be putting it's nose into this matter......PERIOD end of story.

I will remember this request by Mr Van Gorder the next time I am in the voting I am sure many others will do also......I wont be punching his name......that's for sure. "

Straight Talk wrote on Mar 6, 2009 2:14 PM:

" Taking up public issues "fraught with controversy" is why we are elected to public office.

A majority of Napa voters opposed proposition 8. A ban on same-sex marriages will have an effect on how our city does business. The resolution states: “The city of Napa supports equal protection, which prohibits unequal government treatment of historically targeted minority groups….”

A council resolution on this issue will not interfere with street and sidewalk repair; has no impact on local schools or our economy; does not impact the city budget; is not lobbying the State Supreme Court; will not reverse the majority vote of Californians; and I am not “grandstanding purely for publicity purposes.” I believe with all my soul that opposing proposition 8 is the right thing to do.

The validity and implementation of proposition 8 is in the hands of the courts. Each city council member is free to support or oppose proposition 8.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”

In the future, I will look back at this time in history and say that I reaffirmed my belief that all men and women are created equal. I will always be a voice for liberty and justice for all. I’m sorry to see those long-held American beliefs are no longer valued by so many people.

Mark van Gorder "
Of course, there are plenty more comments at the main article on the Register's site. Visit and/or comment with caution, as I don't believe hardly any of the commenters actually read to try and understand others' viewpoints. It seems most are there purely to argue their point. Yet, as some have mentioned here before, if we don't comment and we remain silent on the Register's site, it will seem as if all believe the same as the vocal opposition and we'll remain just as invisible in the community.

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