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Monday, March 30, 2009

St. Helena's Sklar puts equality on upvalley agenda

As some had thought might happen, St. Helena's City Councilmember Eric Sklar has put marriage equality on the St. Helena City Council agenda:
On April 14, at Sklar’s request, the council will discuss a resolution stating that “the city does not support discrimination and finds that all people regardless of gender should be able to enter into the legal contract of marriage and receive the same social and legal benefits and recognition as conferred by the state of California.” [NVR]
By now, we all know how Napa's City Council chickened out and the beginnings of what that led to, will it go the same route in St. Helena? It could equally (no pun intended) be a disaster, or maybe this is all just the "equality" wake-up call that the Valley needed.


  1. I am proud of the resolution and look forward to passing it with the help of all Napans commited to equality.

    Eric Sklar

  2. Official support of equality is an issue of community mental health, physical health, and safety. Community standards affect the lives of all members of the community. Dr. Chris Beyrer, the founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights, said denying same sex couples the right to marry harms community health: "We know for certain that lesbian and gay individuals suffer harm to their physical and psychological health, and to their relationships and quality of life, as result of the shame, isolation and stigma accrued from their social and legal disenfranchisement."

    Hate crimes against gay people are on the rise and are supported when negative beliefs about homosexuality are allowed to persist. According to the American Psychological Association: "Ideology assailants report that their crimes stem from their negative beliefs and attitudes about homosexuality that they perceive other people in the community share. They see themselves as enforcing social morals."

    The city council helps to establish those social morals by their words and deeds. Will they join those who seek to perpetuate the stigmatization, social isolation, and legal disenfranchisement of gay people? Or will they take a stand against marginalization, and establish equality under the law as the community standard?