This letter was written in response to a Sun Press editorial; it has not been published by the Sun Press.
To the Editor:
The Thursday, May 16th editorial entitled "Let voters decide" asked why Heights Families For Equality, the pro-legislation group, "feared" putting the issue to a vote. I've read the group's flyer, and in my opinion the "Decline to Sign" drive was not motivated by fear, but rather by a desire to educate the voters.
Cleveland Heights City Council passed an ordinance extending the city employee benefits program to cover, in certain well-defined circumstances, same-sex partners. Families First, an anti-gay group, is fighting this legislation because they see it as supporting gay families. Their approach, however, is deceptive; rather than saying "we don't like gays" they say "we are fighting unfairness!"
If Families First wanted a broader (i.e. "more fair") city employee health benefits package, it could have lobbied for that. It didn't, however, and it still hasn't. Nor has it explained to me how forbidding health benefits coverage for gay partners in any way helps my husband and me. The fact is, Families First seeks to force everyone in our community to knuckle under to its views on which families are going to come first and which are going to come second. It has concealed its true nature by piling on buzzwords like "fairness" and false appeals to patriotism like "let the people vote."
The people HAVE voted - we elected the councilmen, and they overwhelmingly passed this law. By declining to sign the petition, I AM voting - I'm voting for the law as passed. If I'm forced to, I'll go to the polls and vote AGAIN, but I don't think that should be necessary.