Miami Shores Council Rejects Gay Marriage Equality Resolution
The sleepy village of Miami Shores has long been seen as a suburban haven for LGBT people, and is a reliable liberal bastion in elections. But this past Tuesday, the village council voted 3 to 2 to reject a resolution supporting marriage equality in Florida. The vote came on the heels of a contentious and bizarre session of public comments that showcased the passions on both sides of the debate.
The council's action harkens back to a different time in Miami-Dade's history when Anita Bryant led a repeal effort of a gay rights ordinance in 1977. On Thursday, a judge in the Florida Keys declared the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. And mayors from Orlando, Key West, St. Petersburg, Lake Worth, and Miami Beach have all announced their support for the civil rights issue.
The largely symbolic resolution was proposed by Vice Mayor Jesse Walters, who is openly gay. The text of the proposal read," A resolution of the Miami Shores Village Council supporting marriage equality, urging enactment of a law that would provide for marriage equality in the state of Florida, and providing for an effective date."
Mayor Herta Holly, and Councilmen Jim McCoy and Hunt Davis voted against the resolution, while Vice Mayor Walters and Councilwoman Ivonne Ledesma voted for it.
The proposal prompted larger than usual public attention to be placed on the council, and a few dozen people attended the Tuesday meeting.
After welcoming the assembled crowd to the meeting, Holly allowed time for public comment. And boy, did the public have something to say.
Here are some of the best lines from the video, which you can watch in full here.
Shores resident Elizabeth Little opposed the resolution. She said that she didn't think the council should be involved in the issue and supported the 2008 statewide vote that supported "traditional marriage" between one man and woman.
After Little sat down, a small older woman stepped up to the podium and proceeded to almost give her wrong address (she gave her "North Carolina address"). Then she went into conservative talking points.
"I believe that we should have man and woman as man and wife," She said. "It's the way I was brought up and raised and I guess I'll live till I die the same way."