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The City Council (the governing body of the city; we have a mayor but he Council makes legislation) just voted Monday to create a Domestic Partnership Registry. This article summarizes the ordinance passed. It mostly has to do with recognition of the domestic partner in healthcare-related situations, and the author of the article points out that there is no hospital in our town, which is true. There are a fair number of assisted-living homes, however, and I assume this would apply to them. It is mostly a symbolic gesture, but it’s an important one I think. And, I don’t know any of the details of this, but the City of St. Louis (where the closest biggest hospital complex is) has also has a Domestic Partnership Registry, so I could see this helping U. City residents get fair treatment when they go for healthcare.

What interests me the most, though, is the debate over it. Of course. This article (from which I’ll be quoting) reports on the council meeting last night, where a bunch of rabble-rousers showed up to attempt to enforce their morality on others.

The first person quoted in the article, who held a Bible and clearly had not done her research, was from Ballwin. She said, “‘I don’t think University City wants to be known as the only city to legislate sin in the United States.'” That’s powerful, except that University City isn’t even the only city in Missouri to establish a domestic partnership registry, assuming that’s what she meant by “legislate sin.” It’s the fourth. As for the “legislating sin,” I can’t even deal with that right now, except to wonder if she eats pork, shellfish, and/or cheeseburgers.

The article states that “[t]he majority of the vocal opposition came from residents outside of University City,” which drives me batty. It proves that this ordinance has a symbolic meaning, which is great, but they don’t live here. Not only are they trying to force their own personal beliefs onto others, which I think is morally abhorrent, they feel so strongly about it that they’ve deigned to come into the inner ring suburbs to do so. Can’t they stay out there in their cookiecutter homes on their sidewalk-less cul-de-sacs and mind their own damn business?

But that’s not really the rant I wanted to get into. I didn’t want to rant at all, except maybe a little bit against Art Sharpe.

Art is the only councilmember who voted against the ordinance. His wife spoke out against the ordinance, “Please, don’t ask me to support that which God says is wrong” and he’s quoted as saying he loves his wife and so he’ll vote no on the bill. I don’t understand what that’s supposed to mean, but that’s not the point. The point is, that I had a lot of respect for him as my elected representative because I was at a council meeting many years ago where he voted against his personal opinion because, he said, he was elected to represent his constituents. So he voted the way his constituents wanted him to. (This was a controversial topic at the time, but not one that could be interpreted as a moral issue.) Now, he votes the way his wife wants him to?

Sharpe said, “‘Where as I am very supportive of Councilmember Crow, I feel very strongly about [against] what he’s doing.'” (I’m still quoting the above-linked article). Councilmember Terry Crow & the mayor worked together on the ordinance and were the ones to bring it before the council. As was brandied about weirdly during his mayoral bid last year, Terry is gay and has two (adorable!) kids with his partner.  Now, let’s try to ignore the fact that Art’s sentence doesn’t make a lot of sense. It sure sounds like that old, ‘I like you a lot, it’s too bad you’re going to burn in Hell’ mentality. I don’t like it at all.

My other representative was great, though.

There was this one woman, who clearly did not understand her audience, who “said the bill had the potential to lead to the destruction of family. She said the ordinance erodes traditional marriage in America, especially in the black community. She was adamant that gay unions were not a civil rights issue.”

Byron replied that ” ‘[h]omosexual behavior has nothing to do with a lack of success of black folk,’ ” and went on to say that “people who pay taxes in University City should have the same rights that he has.” Thank you! That is really the issue at hand: fairness. That’s why people use the term ‘civil rights.’ Remember those “certain unalienable rights, … among these … life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”?

The Post-Dispatch’s article on the subject describes us as a ” community known for its diversity and progressive ways,” which is great and I love it and it’s one of the reasons I’d be happy to live here forever. But (I can’t help it) I have to point something out. Diversity and acceptance should not be progressive. They should just be. (Like they are in U. City!)

In similar news, Monday’s Daily Show reminded me of this Advocate article, which ranked St. Louis as the tenth-gayest city in the country this year. I bet those West County (and beyond!) dwellers are happy about that! Ahahaha.

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