What with everyone’s posting about the City Council Vote supporting marriage equality and the Mayor’s signing of the resolution, I was interested in who voted NO on the resolution. Councilmen C.T. Martin and Howard Shook voted “No” against the resolution according to Creative Loafing. Here’s some quotes from our two Atlanta City Councilmen.
from CT Martin - “I don’t want to talk about it because I have a choice,” Martin told CL when asked why he voted “no.” “And that’s what it’s about – choices. And I had a choice of voting ‘no.’” Really, so it’s personal? Thanks…I’ll take it personally, and I’ll remember that come next year, you know, election time.
from Howard Shook – “While I understand there are many heartfelt opinions regarding this issue, my duty is to represent 7th District voters who, like it or not, overwhelmingly opposed amending Georgia’s constitution so as to allow gay marriage.” Um, he does know that 2004 was 8 years ago right?
Want to sound off on their vote? Here’s their contact pages. (I’ve sent mine already).
Text of the Resolution below the fold:
A RESOLUTION BY COUNCILMEMBERS ALEX WAN, CARLA SMITH, FELICIA MOORE, MICHAEL JULIAN BOND, H. LAMAR WILLIS, KWANZA HALL, AARON WATSON
A RESOLUTION DECLARING THE SUPPORT OF THE ATLANTA CITY COUNCIL FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that marriage is one of the basic civil rights of the American people, fundamental to our very existence and survival1; and
WHEREAS, in 1974, the Supreme Court declared that: “This court has long recognized that freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the [Constitution]“2; and
WHEREAS, marriages that are deemed legally valid by the federal and state governments provide the married couple with more than 1,138 federal rights, privileges, economic advantages and legal protections; and
WHEREAS, these rights include access to health care, inheritance of social security benefits and eligibility for significant taxation advantages. Protections afforded to each spouse in a legal marriage include protection of their parental relationship with their children, protection of the inheritance rights of their spouse and children, ensuring hospital visitation rights and the ability to make medical decisions for their spouse, and protection of property rights; and
WHEREAS, without being declared legally valid, the spouses of same-sex marriages cannot receive these rights, privileges, advantages and protections; and
WHEREAS, recent national polls show that a majority of Americans now believe same-sex marriage should be recognized by law as valid; and
WHEREAS, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, the District of Columbia, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, Maryland and Maine have legalized marriage for same-sex couples; and
WHEREAS, on February 23, 2011, the Barack Obama administration announced that the US Justice Department would no longer defend in federal court the 1996 federal law entitled the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) and its denial of federal recognition to married same-sex couples; and
WHEREAS, the City of Atlanta (“City”) has a rich history in the civil rights movement and and is rightfully considered one of the most progressive cities in the country regarding its policies protecting equal rights for all citizens; and
WHEREAS, the City Atlanta has one of the highest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) populations per capita, ranking third among major American cities; and
WHEREAS, the Atlanta Code of Ordinances (“Code”) has numerous non-discrimination provisions that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by Atlanta businesses, (Code Section 94-112), in housing sales and rentals (Code Section 94-94), and by stores, hotels, restaurants and other public accommodations (Code Section 94-68); and
WHEREAS, City law also prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in the City’s own employment decisions (Code Section 3-502). The City offers its employees the ability to enroll a domestic partner for coverage under the employee’s health insurance plan, and to name a domestic partner as the recipient of the employee’s pension benefits; and
WHEREAS, in 2004, the City passed resolution 04-R-0183, opposing an amendment to the Georgia Constitution that would ban same-sex marriages in Georgia; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ATLANTA that the Atlanta City Council supports marriage equality for same-sex couples.