Just as AZ begins to dust the shame off of itself after the anti LGBT bill SB1062 (thankfully vetoed) I discovered that the desire to discriminate is alive and well in the retirement community of Sun City West, Arizona.
With approximately 40 people in attendance, the board gave everyone an opportunity to speak. Seventeen spoke with the majority in favor of getting rid of the domestic partners policy. Because the issue was not on the agenda, board members could not respond.
You can read more about it here if you like. . .
In October of last year our firefighters and EMT's were granted Domestic Partner's benefits. Being that we are not civilized enough to grant gay couples the right to marry this seemed to be the right thing to do. . .
Fast forward to February. It took awhile for word to spread but it did and once the tired, the old, the shaking their fist at the sky discovered that . . . that . . . we are going to pay for Domestic Partner benefits all Hell broke loose.
I took a few moments to write the following letter to the Fire District Governing Board Members. If you agree and would like to help, please let the board members know with a follow up e-mail to their official addresses which I have provided below.
We are a small community of just over 25,000 and your help would be appreciated.
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Dear Chairman and Members,
I recently became aware of the controversy concerning Domestic Partner benefits for our brave firefighters and EMT's. This is somewhat like the publicity brought upon our whole state by the SB1062 fiasco that was diverted by a veto after international scrutiny. Comments from the NFL, Apple, Google, Delta, American Airlines to name just a few, condemned the discrimination and I hope you will too.
Since last Summer six states (Utah, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia and Texas) have all lost court battles against not allowing same sex marriage. The arc of morality and justice will soon touch Arizona as it has 13 other states which currently allow gay marriage.
The negative consequence of discrimination for the state included losing the Superbowl and the loss of future jobs. Sun City West will lose decent, solid firefighters who are gay and those who are straight and wish for an employer who does not discriminate based on race, creed OR sexual preference.
As a younger resident of Sun City West it was illegal for interracial marriage and people of color to vote in some areas of the United States when I was born. When my grandparents were born, females couldn't vote. . . Just as same sex couples are not allowed to marry in Arizona today, we have a moral obligation to do the right thing, attract the best and brightest employees and offer those benefits.
America is a melting pot. We may not always agree, but we should always do what is right. We always do, it just takes time. As with interracial marriage, voting rights and now same sex marriage, there is going to be a right and wrong side of history to be on and I wish and hope that you choose wisely.
As a community we must realize that like the NFL's Superbowl and major corporations, we will not attract the best and brightest citizens and may in fact shun possible buyers and reduce the value of our homes by being viewed as discriminators.
Lets show our appreciation for the men and woman who at times risk their lives for us and keep us safe in medical emergencies by providing them with the means to keep their own family safe and insured whether or not their family looks just like ours.
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Please let your feelings be known to
Fire District Governing Board Members
David Wilson - Chairman
Dusty Rhodes - Board Clerk
William "Bill" Hamel - Board Member
Jack Meyer - Board Member
Russell "Smitty" Smith - Board Member
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