St. Louis Park joined Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth on Monday when the city council voted in favor of a resolution against the anti-gay marriage amendment slated for the 2012 ballot. Every citizen speaking before the council supported the measure and every city council member voted in favor of it.
And they spoke eloquently about why the anti-gay marriage amendment is wrong.
Council member Jake Spano spearheaded the effort. “When my wife and I moved into this community, we found it to be a very welcome and open community,” he said. “This constitutional amendment is a mean-spirited attempt to codify discrimination in our state constitution. I could not more strongly speak against it.”
Council member Julia Ross noted that there wasn’t much opposition to the resolution in her community. “I had one correspondence from someone who was not supportive,” she said adding that she had plenty in support.
Council member Susan Sanger criticized the anti-gay marriage amendment. “It really diminishes all of us. It creates in my mind a problem for the entire state,” she said, “to be so embarrassed to be in a state where a number of legislators feel it is important to discriminate.”
Ann Mavity, another council member, said one of the key reasons the resolution was part of city business is that gay couples face discrimination. “One of the key reasons is that right now our government has over 500 laws at the state level and 1000 laws at the federal level that convey benefits for marriage, at the same time denying a segment of our population the right to marry.”
She said opposing that discrimination and upholding equality was important. “I think the city has an interest in upholding those values.”
Council member Susan Santa, “I’ve heard from people on both sides.
I understand that this is a very emotional visceral issue for many people. Personally, I don’t feel the constitution is the right place to add discrimination and hatred.”
Mayor Jeff Jacobs added, “The United States is not a Christian country, we are not a Muslim country, we are not a Jewish country.
History is replete with what happens what happens when that occurs.”
After that, all members of the council voted in support of the resolution condemning the anti-gaay marriage amendment.