Friday, August 7, 2009

Porterville Rejects Resolution That Would Have Opposed California Senate Bill 54

Tuesday night, the Porterville City Council Chambers was packed full with residents concerned about the outcome of that evening's session. The council was to vote on former mayor and current councilman Cam Hamilton's resolution that would oppose Senate Bill 54, a bill that, if passed, would recognize same-sex couples who were married before Proposition 8 and grant all California rights to those who married after, but would not recognize those relationships as marriages.

Porterville is the only city in California who approved a resolution in support of Proposition 8's before it passed. Cam Hamilton, who was mayor at the time of the Proposition 8 resolution, hoped to have a repeat success. He authored the new resolution which stated that SB 54 was a "blatant violation of our state constitution."

The KMPH reported:
At times, the meeting took on a strong religious tone, with pastors speaking, both sides reading Bible verses, invoking Jesus Christ, even some shouts of 'Amen' from the audience.

Ed McKervey has lived in Porterville for 25 years. He supports the council and spoke to praise them for taking up the issue.

Barry Caplan is opposed to any resolution, he'd also like to see Prop 8 completely repealed. He says the city has no business interfering in state business.
Jessica Mahoney, Porterville resident and witness to the council session, sent Unite the Fight an email in which she wrote:
...with bibles in hand people marched up to speak! What I thought was sad! . . . most of the so called pastors brought out there [sic] youth groups to the meeting!. . . and there [sic] youth groups which were mostly pre-teens to mid-teens! With bibles in hand reading verse after verse of things they . . . thought as valid I guess - it was like going to a chruch! [sic] Some even got up there and just said so called praise to there! lord and to cam! lol No one really talk about anything about law, or civil rights...all bible stuff....
After 90 minutes of public comment, council members voted 3-2 against supporting a formal council resolution. Hamilton and Vice Mayor Brian Ward voted in favor of the resolution. Mayor Pete McCracken and Councilmen Pedro "Pete" Martinez and Felipe Martinez voted against it.

The Recorder reports:
Springville resident and Porterville businessman Dennis Townsend said he would choose other words to describe the council majority's vote. He singled out Pedro Martinez for criticism, while also commending Hamilton and Ward for their actions.

Pedro Martinez, after voting against Hamilton's proposed resolution, read into the record a letter he said he will send to state legislators condemning the manner in which SB 54 is making its way through the legislative process. The text of the letter echoes points raised in Hamilton's proposed resolution.

Townsend said there's a word for saying one thing as a private person and saying something else as a public figure: "Hypocrisy."

1 comment:

  1. thanks agian unite the fight! for sharing our fight for equality this has been a big step for porterville city council, but another small step to our full equality for all! but i'm very proud of all the people that have worked the pass 11 months for this day thank you jessica!

    i took my own video of that night also still trying to get it all up and working stay tune...also anymore news about this check out