City of Waterloo, Pop. 3300: Against the Ban

The City Council of Waterloo passed a resolution last night against the civil unions and marriage ban.

Waterloo is located in the district of state Senator Scott Fitzgerald, the lead senator sponsor of the ban.

From a press advisory released today:
The bill’s sponsor, Alderperson Michael Kent, opened the discussion by recognizing the positive contributions of gay, lesbian and transgendered individuals to the state and the community.

“They are an asset for our state.” Kent said, “They hold jobs and pay taxes just like everyone else. There is no rational basis for the discriminatory animus some people seem to hold towards homosexuals. They aren’t hurting anyone, leave them alone.”
The text of the Resolution reads:
The Common Council of the City of Waterloo does hereby resolve as follows:

WHEREAS, the Wisconsin State Legislature has voted to approve an Amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution reading "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."

WHEREAS, this proposed amendment will be on the ballot in November, 2006;

WHEREAS, this amendment will, in effect, create a Constitutional bar to the legal recognition of gay marriages, and bar the legal recognition of civil unions for both homosexual and heterosexual couples;

WHEREAS, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals are valuable, contributing, taxpaying members of our state and community;

WHEREAS, there is social value in encouraging stable, monogamous relationships, irrespective of the sex of the participants;

WHEREAS, the economic future of Wisconsin depends on attracting and retaining educated workers and new businesses, and that this amendment could have the effect of discouraging high-value workers and businesses from locating in our state and community;

WHEREAS, the people of Wisconsin are tolerant of diversity and disfavor government intrusion into the private lives of its citizens;

WHEREAS, a clear preponderance of the credible scientific evidence to date strongly suggests that sexual orientation and/or identity are immutable personal characteristics,

WHEREAS, there is no credible reason to believe that homosexual partnerships pose any threat to heterosexual marriages, nor the community at large;

WHEREAS, Article One, Section One of the Wisconsin State Constitution reads “All people are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”;

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the City of Waterloo opposes the constitutional ban on gay unions and encourages its citizens to vote against the proposal.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Clerk/Treasurer shall distribute copies of this resolution to media outlets and elected officials as directed by the Common Council.

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9 Comments:

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Kent Walker said...

I applaude the City of Waterloo. We should all sent letters to the editor thanking them and we should all vow to visit at least once or twice in the next year. :-) I guess however that would be a "non-boycott" and we are all against the "cotts" right?

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger Karmachrome said...

How did this come about? What an impressive statement!

 
At 11:59 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Wow, I'm impressed. Even though it's written in legal language, it still expresses many of the arguments that we have been making for years. I hope other small towns follow suit.

Paul.

pdcook.blogspot.com

 
At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I notice that this resolution does not refer to the current state law which refers to marriage as being between a husband and wife. Since many gay partners refer to themselves as husband and wife, help me understand why I should not be concerned that when a gay organization sees the right jurisdiction, with the right set of liberal judges, they wont come forward with a law suit showing that since husband and wife are accepted terms for gay partners they should be given the same status as married people. James in Seymour

 
At 12:57 PM, Blogger Lawyapalooza said...

Paul,

Towns like Waterloo do not have court systems, so any legal fights will have to go up the the Supreme Court. There are cases in WI where people have tried and failed to argue that "husband" or "wife" does not refer to man and woman. The sad thing about that is these cases are adoption cases, where people are judt trying to give a child a good home. My own family is an example of that. My partner and I were foster parents for children who had abusive parents. All of them were heterosexual parents, and several were married. Anyway, we eventually were set to adopt our daughter, but the Supreme COurt said only one of us could. That leaves our daughter without basic legal protections like health insurance, social security, and pension plans. It is sad to me that the State can ask us to take on the most damaged children, but won't give us the same tools as everyone else to protect them.

If this was about marriage, the amendment would have only the first sentence. You should ask yourself why they decided to put in the second sentence. The legislature is using you and people who genuinely believe in reserving marriage for one man and one woman for another purpose. Reasonable people can disagree about marriage, and churches will never be forced to approve marrriages, but we ca't reasonably want to hurt children and families, can we? Please consider voting no in November. If you want to reinforce current laws about marriage, then let's actually pass a law only about that.

 
At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Keith said...

I echo the question "How did this come about?"

Not because a city council vote has any legal effect. It doesn't.

However, it is yet another means by which we get people to talk about the evil effects of the amendment. The more people talk, the more they realize, the more they vote NO!

btw, I know lots and lots of gay couples, and I have never heard until today of those who try to refer to themselves and "husband and wife!" If they did, wouldn't that make one of them transgender and not gay?

 
At 2:11 PM, Blogger Joshua Freker said...

I don't know exactly how it came about. An alderperson, Mike Kent, emailed Fair Wisconsin to let us know this was happening.

 
At 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgive me if this is old hat, but has anyone seen this article?

Here's what got me:

"A perfect God does not require blind obedience, nor does He need unthinking loyalty. Freedom of conscience is a divine blessing, and our privilege to express it is a moral imperative.
"When the church hierarchy speaks on a public issue and requests that members follow, it is difficult indeed if an individual feels the content of their message would make bad law and is unethical as well. I believe opposing gay marriage and seeking a constitutional amendment against it is immoral."

it goes on...

"Truly, God would be unjust if He were the creator of a biological process that produced such uncommon, yet perfectly natural results, and then condemned the innocent person to a life of guilt, while denying him or her the ordinary privileges and fulfillment of the deep longing in all of us for family and a committed, loving relationship."

But I can't quote the entire article here...

Finally, a coherent and articulate God counter to the "I am against gay marriage because God is against gay marriage" arguments.

 
At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Keith said...

The Salt Lake Trib article is, indeed, a good one. And from a Mormon perspective, too, which is welcome. But how do you mean, Anonymous, that it is FINALLY a coherent argument?

Folks have been making very coherent arguments from Chirstian and religious perspectives all along.

Trouble is that the Loud Evangelicals and the Catholics (at least in this State) dominate the news coverage and thereby the debate.

Here in Wisconsin, we've got a lot of people of faith (ELCA and UCC most visibly) making the arguments against the amendment on exactly the religious grounds you welcome. They just don't get a lot of air time.

In my opinion, one reason they don't get air time is that they tend to sound too much like tired Liberals: lots of talk about Jesus as a big giant ball of love and acceptance.

But one can make very very cogent arguments against the amendment with fire and brimstone like the Loud Evangelicals, too.

And, even more relevant to Wisconsin, one can spin a beautiful argument from a completely Catholic perspective, too. A God who calls us to work mercy calls us strongly!

We just need more air time!

 

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