Deseret Morning News, Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Marriage resolution dropped

S. Jordan Council decides to skip all of its controversy

By Geoffrey Fattah
Deseret Morning News

SOUTH JORDAN  After being blasted by some members of the public for 
proposing a resolution against gay marriage, South Jordan city officials 
said Tuesday that's one boiling political cauldron they don't want to 
step into.

In a written statement, city leaders said they reached consensus that 
the topic of marriage is a matter best left to someone else.

"Such debate should exist at the state and federal level wherein lies 
the authority to establish laws with regard to such matters," the 
statement read. "The city will not discuss, nor consider a resolution on 
this subject."

The announcement comes after councilwoman Leona Winger suggested a week 
ago that the council adopt a resolution stating that "marriage in South 
Jordan be recognized as only between one man and one woman."

Mayor Kent Money agreed with Winger's proposal. He directed city staff 
to look into drafting a resolution and find out if any other city has 
taken similar action. Some research showed that South Jordan would be 
the first Utah city to make such a statement.

News of the plan drew some public outcry, particularly by gay activists, 
who said the resolution would be seen as divisive and "mean spirited" by 
the public.

Although they expressed a desire to make a moral stand on the issue of 
gay marriage, some council members had also expressed concern that the 
resolution would draw unwanted attention to the city.

"We never made up our minds to begin with," said South Jordan City 
Manager Ricky Horst, who added the "fire storm" of controversy confirmed 
it was "not a subject they should address."

Horst said last week that had the city drafted the resolution, the 
council would have voted on it during its March 30 meeting.

Horst said after news of the plan broke in the Deseret Morning News, the 
city was inundated with phone calls from concerned residents. At least 
one South Jordan citizen activist, Laurie Vance, had said although she 
didn't necessarily agree with gay marriage, she felt the city had no 
business making such a political stand that could divide the community.

City officials particularly felt the heat of criticism during Tuesday's 
Doug Wright Show on KSL Radio. Wright characterized the proposed 
resolution as unnecessary and inappropriate.

Horst pointed out that councilwoman Winger is fairly new to her 
position, having been elected last November, and is learning that as a 
council member, her statements now speak for not just herself but for 
her community.


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