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On the evening of Oct. 8, many upset residents of Sylvan Lake attended a city council meeting to protest last month’s passing of a resolution, which supported a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The resolution was snuck on the city council’s September agenda at the last minute by councilman Pete Peters when it was learned a council member that strongly opposed any type of discriminatory resolution would not be in attendance.
Many residents were shocked to learn such a controversial resolution was passed without any public notice or discussion. In addition, Mr. Peters sent press releases to the media stating that this resolution spoke for residents of Sylvan Lake.
The turn out for the meeting was high with a majority not pleased with the council’s actions. Many attendees questioned why council time was even wasted on a topic that has nothing to do with city government and strongly urged them to reverse their bigoted resolution. Several individuals demanded the resignations of the council members that passed the resolution. Mr. Peters was berated by the group for misusing his public office to advance his personal agenda.
The council did hear the outraged voices of its residents and reluctantly reversed their decision. Unfortunately, two council members, Peter Peters and Marge Kumar, decided that discrimination is acceptable in our community and voted not to reverse their prior month’s vote. However, this issue is not dead. A meeting is scheduled for Nov. 12 for additional public comment and possibly reintroduction of the resolution.
The thing my partner (Jeff) and I learned is you can make a difference. This is not the time to sit back and allow bigots to tromp on your rights. Apathy will get us nowhere. Go to a meeting, speak up, write a letter, galvanize your family and friends. Be Heard! You would be surprised how many of your neighbors do not tolerate discrimination or bigotry. It was that lady down the block and the guy that walks his dog and the young family next door. Yes, they were there along side Jeff and I voicing their support for our rights. If they are there speaking out, you need to be there, too.
Sylvan Lake, MI