This article, that appeared yesterday in the St Petersburg Times, suggests that just about the entire council, regardless of party affiliation, is nervous about showing any support for those who oppose the current proposed Amendment 2, that would ban gay marriage in Florida. Such is the quality of leadership that exists in this city! And the argument used to justify their silence--an unwillingness to inculcate the wrath of some city residents who resent political influence--is akin to saying that if racism or sexism takes place in their midst, they too will remain silent. Furthermore, when did politicians ever not influence society, for better or worse? The excuse offered below is simply hogwash and is politically driven. It is simply a case of self-interest over the protection of the rights of minorities. The city fathers' implicit stance is an affront to the forces of judicial review that has been gathering momentum in favor of gay marriage as witnessed in the latest state, Connecticut, to rule that same-sex couples have the right to access this civil contract.
October 10, 2008 St Petersburg council silent on Amendment 2
ST. PETERSBURG- Former City Council member John "Jay" Lasita asked the council to adopt a resolution Thursday against Amendment 2, the so-called gay marriage ban before voters this November.
It didn't go over very well. Not one council member supported putting the resolution to a vote.
Council members, even those who oppose the measure, said voters could take the resolution the wrong way.
"We do get a lot of heat from people with us using our positions to tell them how to vote," said council member Jeff Danner.
Even council chairman Jamie Bennett, who has campaigned against Amendment 2, would not support the resolution.
"I will not be supporting this amendment when I go to vote next month," said Bennett. "It does impact people in their normal existence and I think that is the unintended consequence."
Lasita is the Central Florida field leader for Florida Red & Blue, the group that's fighting Amendment 2. He urged council members to reconsider voting on the resolution at their next meeting Oct. 16.