Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Equality Resolution

Congratulations to Asheville City Council for adopting the resolution in support equal rights for all Asheville citizens; Mayor Bellamy dissenting, of course. And boo, double boo, to all of the other dangerous moralistic religionists who spoke in opposition during public comments in their ongoing effort to apply the coercive force of government to impose their peculiar religious views on all others. I expect the good mayor will be shown the door in the due course of time. Good riddance.

Marriage is a peaceable voluntary contract between free individuals often involving property, reputations, assets and even children. Just as in any contract, it is the proper role of the government to adjudicate contract disputes when they arise. Sadly, our gay citizens are prohibited by the government from entering into these contracts. This is a violation of individual rights.

Heterosexual couples can legally get married. This qualifies them for certain privileges and legal recognition. Homosexual couples are prevented by the government from getting married. This is a violation of their individual rights. To compensate for this injustice, the city will create a registry of gay couples, who are forced to remain single, that meet certain criteria for a civil union. Were gays able to exercise their right to marriage, none of this would be necessary.

The Asheville City Council act to affirm and protect the equal rights of all its citizens by:
  • Extending the city’s employment discrimination clause to include “sexual orientation”, “gender”, and “gender identity or expression”;
  • Enacting an anti-bullying ordinance for all city institutions and grounds;
  • Creating a Domestic Partner Registry to recognize same-sex relationships for the purposes of providing documentation and offering a mechanism through which hospitals, businesses, and other entities will have the opportunity to recognize these relationships; and
  • Endorsing and supporting the rights of same-sex couples to share fully and equally in the familial rights and responsibilities of civil marriage.
I’m not sure, though, that Asheville city attorney Bob Oast got it right during this council meeting. He said that Bill Russell’s absence would count as a non-vote and council would need a tie-breaker. I believe that if a member is unexcused in their absence for a vote, then the record will show a “Yah” vote for that member.
Chapter 160A. Cities and Towns. Article 5 - Form of Government. §160A‑75. Voting. "No member shall be excused from voting except upon matters involving the consideration of the member’s own financial interest or official conduct or on matters on which the member is prohibited from voting under G.S. 14‑234, 160A‑381(d), or 160A‑388(e1). In all other cases, a failure to vote by a member who is physically present in the council chamber, or who has withdrawn without being excused by a majority vote of the remaining members present, shall be recorded as an affirmative vote."


Council passes equality resolution, 5-1 ***UPDATED WITH VIDEO***
by Margaret Williams, David Forbes, Jake Frankel on 02/23/2011
Some civil, and not so civil discussion on the Equal Rights resolution in the Mountain Xpress. See comment thread below the main article

Impact of Asheville vote on same-sex rights unclear
Mark Barrett | Asheville Citizen-Times | Feb. 23, 2011
ASHEVILLE — The impact of City Council's passage of a resolution endorsing more rights for same-sex couples will be partly symbolic and partly concrete, people on both sides of the issue said.

If It Looks Like a Duck, Quacks Like a Duck . . .
Posted February 22nd, 2011 at 11:44 PM by Leslee Kulba
I see the bait hanging on the trap, but I feel I must take it. I must say I am somewhat uncomfortable with your post and have seriously considered deleting it. MY RESPONSE: My comments, expanded, appear in the Mountain Xpress and will appear in your newspaper, the Asheville Tribune. Good luck shutting me up. [NOTE: Leslee Kulba deleted my response from her weblog at the John Locke Foundation.]

LTE: Equality resolution approval praised, but mayor lambasted
Tim Peck | Asheville Tribune | March 3, 2011
Congratulations to Asheville City Council for adopting the resolution in support equal rights for all Asheville citizens.