(October 18, 2006) -- The City Council has voted 9-0 to give final approval to a resolution (text below) supporting civil marriage licenses for same sex couples.
The item was scheduled for the Council's "consent calendar" (no discussion expected) at the Oct. 17 Council meeting...but was pulled for individual discussion.
Three individuals spoke in opposition. Roughly twice as many spoke in support.
Opponent Larry Goodhue challenged a figure of 80,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transvestite (LGBT) LB residents, which Councilmembers S. Lowenthal, Vice Mayor B. Lowenthal and Councilman P. O'Donnell had attributed to the 2000 Census in their original agendizing memo.
Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal acknowledged that the figure actually stems from a UCLA Law School report ("Williams Project") in which she said "approximately 74,000 individuals were identified in 2000 and since then reasonable estimates have indicated that 6,000 LGBT residents have moved to Long Beach since 2000."
Mayor Bob Foster said that "as was pointed out last time [previous hearing], it's not a matter of numbers, it's a matter of right."
Below is the text of a resolution:
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LONG BEACH IN SUPPORT OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY FOR SAME SEX COUPLES WITH FULL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES AS ANY HETEROSEXUAL CIVIL MARRIAGE
WHEREAS, City of Long Beach has, by local policy, ordinance and practice, shown its commitment to fair and equitable treatment of all persons regardless of gender or sexual orientation ; and
WHEREAS, City of Long Beach is home to more than 80,000 LGBT residents and families headed by same sex couples, many with children ; and
WHEREAS, both the United States Constitution and California Constitution clearly state no laws will be made or enforced that abridge the privileges and immunities of its citizens and residents ; and
WHEREAS, both the United States Constitution and California Constitution clearly state that no person within its jurisdiction will be denied equal protection under their laws ; and
WHEREAS, the right to marry is recognized under the United States Constitution as a fundamental liberty interest ; and
WHEREAS, providing equal access to civil marriage will not require religious institutions to perform or recognize marriages that conflict with their particular religious traditions or beliefs ; and
WHEREAS, the opportunity to publicly and legally commit to share one's life with a person of one's choice is for many people one of the most central aspects of human experience ; and the denial of marriage to same sex couples is a denial of fundamental civil rights; and
WHEREAS, denying civil marriage to individuals who are gay or lesbian
deprives them of state and federal rights, privileges, immunities, protections and
responsibilities ; and
WHEREAS, families headed by gay or lesbians deserve the same rights and
legal protections as other families under the law, including the protection of their spousal
rights and privileges and protection of their children's economic interests by ensuring their
access to the resource of both parents ; and
WHEREAS, the inability to access these legal protections may result in
significant harm to these individuals and families, including financial insecurity, deprivation
of real property interests, lack of retirement and death benefits and lack of standing in
access to family court for dissolution ; and
WHEREAS, no resident of City of Long Beach should be refused equal
protection under the law ; and
WHEREAS, discriminatory laws undermine the State of California's
commitment to equality, privacy, liberty and justice for all of its citizens, as well as
undermining civil marriage itself.
NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of Long Beach resolves as
Section 1 . The City of Long Beach hereby declares its support for civil
marriage licenses and any enactments which codify civil marriage equality for all couples
residing in California who are citizens or legal residents of the United States.
Sec. 2 . The City Clerk is directed to transmit a copy of this resolution to our
elected representatives in State and Federal government.
Sec. 3 . The City of Long Beach requests the State and Federal government
to act with vigor to develop laws to allow marriage equality for same sex couples and to
defend same sex civil marriages and protect the fundamental liberties of all families.
Sec. 4 . This resolution shall take effect immediately upon its adoption by the
City Council, and the City Clerk shall certify the vote adopting this resolution.