In announcing gay rights groups would avoid a referendum to repeal the Holland City Council's decision not to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the city charter, Bill Freeman opined “Dr. (Martin Luther) King (Jr.) did not ask the people of Alabama to vote for the rights of black people."
That may be true, however, he was seeking someone else's approval-the votes of the US Congress.
Unless we've missed something, pro gay rights groups aren't lobbying Congress, they're focused on Holland-and the council representing the people of Holland has spoken.
The bottom line in this situation is that even if a council member could be convinced to change their mind, even if these gay rights groups were successful in their lobbying efforts, opponents WILL start the campaign to repeal it the next day. They WILL get the signatures needed to put it before voters, and a referendum WILL occur.
Field Reichardt, former candidate for US Congress in the 2nd District, recently commented on one of our posts: "Better to do an initiative campaign ... and if you lose, do it again ... then again. Each time you will educate more people, and eventually you will win."
Reichardt has it right-it's time to go to the people.
Gary Glenn opined that any ballot measure would fail, citing 64% of Hollanders supported the 2004 "Marriage Amendment" that banned gay marriages and civil unions in Michigan. That was 2004 however, concerned marriage, and didn't have the support of Holland's Reformed Church Classis. This measure's original language did have the HRCC's support, concerns employment and housing, and 2011's politics are different than 2004's.
Frank Sinatra said "if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere." In Holland, "If you can make it with the Reformed Church Classis, you can make it (just about) anywhere." Utilized in the right way, the HRCC's support could make it a very close election.
Use the HRCC's support in every possible way you can, take it to the people of Holland, and engage business owners and those in the religious community who are skeptical but could be won over. Use social media, letters to the editor, phone calls, door to door canvassing, whatever it takes.
One of the pro gay rights groups calls itself "Holland is Ready." Let's find out what the citizens of Holland have to say-the answers may surprise.