I’ve been following this Coombs marriage equality hullabaloo since the Greeley Tribune broke the story several weeks ago (nice catch Times Call…). And, I’ve been fascinated by the arguments made by those who say he overstepped his bounds.
They act as armchair lawyers in order to hide their own prejudices. Most of those who make an argument against Coombs signing the list say that he was in violation of City Council Rule of Procedure 23. A rule which reads,
“No member of Council, employee of the City, or Council appointee shall state a position or policy of the City until said position or policy has been adopted by affirmation or resolution of Council. No restraint on individual expression is hereby intended, so long as the narrator clearly indicates that the position expressed is his or her individual opinion and not the position or policy of the City.”
Now, do me a favor. Read that again, starting where it says
“No restraint on individual expression is hereby intended.”
Go ahead…read it.
It says that as long as the member of council clearly states that the position he or she is expressing is their own position, not that of the council or the city, then it’s fine.
In Scott Rochat’s article that introduced the story to Longmont (and unleashed Rodriguez and the rest of the Baum Squad’s attack dogs) Coombs says, “This isn’t the council’s position or the city’s position.” I don’t know how much more clearly he could have stated it. Those who say Coombs “stepped over the line” are out to push their own prejudice agenda, simple as that. They’ve seen the second half of City Council rule 23, and they choose to ignore it.
If that’s not the case, and I’m way off base here, then why haven’t they come out against Councilmember Katie Witt?
Since last year Councilmember Witt has gone around flaunting her support of Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. She’s taken an official position on the 2012 Presidential Election. However, not once have I ever heard her say, “This isn’t the council’s position or the city’s position” like Coombs did. So, are we as citizens of Longmont supposed to believe that, pursuant to City Council Rule of Procedure 23, the City Council has endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential Election? I sure as hell hope not.
Councilmember Witt is in clear violation of rule 23. One starts to wonder just why these same folks who are supposedly, “standing up for the rules” have been silent in regards to Councilmember Witt. Oh, that’s right. They voted for her. If they really do want to stand up for the rules, then it’s time for the Baum Squad to stop the hypocrisy, and call out Katie Witt.