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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

St. Helena passes Equality Resolution: BREAKING NEWS

At Monday night's City Council meeting on April 14, and not even a full week later, St. Helena became the Napa Valley's second city, after Yountville, to pass an Equality Resolution declaring that the City is against discrimination of any kind and is in support of marriage equality.

St. Helena City Councilman Eric Sklar asked his Council to take up the issue after Napa embarrassingly failed to even take the non-binding resolution up for a vote. According to the Napa Valley Equality Resolution's website, St. Helena voted 61.3% against Proposition 8 in November.

It doesn't seem like St. Helena has streaming video of their Council meetings, but the agenda is posted here and names the Resolution, "Affirming the Equality of All Families" (click to read the entire text):
A. The California Supreme Court is currently deliberating the validity of Proposition 8 and the legal marriages of 36,000 Californians hang in the balance, the City of St. Helena takes this opportunity to affirm the equality and validity of all families; and
B. A majority of Napa County voters rejected Proposition 8 because it takes away a fundamental human right from a minority group of people and is discriminatory at its essence; and
C. The City celebrates the vast diversity of its citizens, seeks to be a safe, healthy and tolerant place for all citizens and their families, strives to be a community that offers equal opportunity, free from hate and all forms of discrimination, and recognizes and appreciates the significant contributions of its many lesbian and gay citizens.


NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of St. Helena resolves as follows:

1. 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.
2. This Resolution shall take effect immediately upon its adoption.
[Update, 8:44am: The Register has since posted their article about St. Helena's Resolution:
By a 3-1 vote, the St. Helena City Council put itself on record Tuesday in support of gay marriage and in opposition to all forms of discrimination.

Councilmember Eric Sklar’s resolution “affirming the equality of all families” and supporting gay marriage passed with Sklar, Bonnie Schoch and Sharon Crull in favor. Mayor Del Britton voted against it, and Councilmember Catarina Sanchez abstained.

Sklar acknowledged that the council’s action was purely symbolic, but “symbols matter,” he said. “When there’s injustice and discrimination, speak out against it whenever and wherever you can.” Schoch agreed. “If it wasn’t for people thinking that maybe one person could make a difference, there would be very few changes,” she said.]
Way to go, St. Helena! (By the way, if Rutherford or Oakville passes something before Napa, I'm moving.) I'll share more information as I get it.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you St. Helena for affirming the community standards of equality and fairness under the law. It is comforting to know you have chosen to support everyone's full humanity, everyone's ability to love, and everyone's value in the your community.