Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Columbia's Progressive Pulse

"It's a no-brainer"*

-Councilman Kirkman Finlay III, on the
importance of LGBT rights in the City of Columbia

In a recent post I commented on how the conservative blogosphere was a lite over a compatriot city councilman sponsoring support of an ordinance for housing protections for LGBT persons.

It's come to my knowledge that certain proposals made by potential city councilman may come to fruition even before the city elections in April which could hamper one of his platform pieces. The legislation I speak of is that contractors, in order to be eligible for city money and contracts, must include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies. The legislation will be initiated by either at large representatives, Tameika Isaac Devine, or Daniel Rickenmann, who's opponent has been a vocal supporter of such an ordinance. That would put Columbia, SC on the map as one of only a handful of cities nation wide to include such requirements - alongside NYC, LA, Chicago, San Francisco to name a few. Beyond that, my source has said that future, very plausible, goals are to get Richland County to mirror Columbia's ordinances and enact similar laws county wide.

Also on the drawing board are seeing how these laws can be duplicated specifically in the locales of Charleston, SC and Florence, SC.

Beyond that - the source said the LGBT community looks to BCBSSC who offers their own employees domestic partner coverage to open that program to the city governments program as a way to skirt the infamous anti-family amendment passed, disbarring the state and its subdivisions from recognizing domestic partnerships/gay marriages.

I asked about a possible 'registration' for same sex couples (and what are traditionally known as common law couples) by the city as part of a study on urban development and as an inclusion in its outlook, but was told that at this time seemed a bit out of the realm of possibility.

The source indicated that at least four of the seven council members are already on board beyond the recent vote on housing, including - Daniel Rickenmann, Tameika I Devine, Sam Davis, and Ann Sinclair whos retiring when her term is up in July. Mr Finlay may be open to the notion so long as it doesn't 'destroy' the economy. All of this is planned to be done quietly so as not to wake the sleeping giants in State Government who are too busy with illegal immigrations and policy think tanks like Palmetto Family Council who are concentrating on the Presidential elections.

*The quote from above was from Councilman Finlay after the unanimous passage of the housing ordinance.

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