Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

SJ officials nix marriage equality proposal

The San Jose City Council Rules Committee has failed to back a resolution calling on Mayor Chuck Reed (seen at left) to support marriage equality.

Councilman Ash Kalra had submitted a proposal for Reed to join the more than 200 mayors from across the United States who have signed a pro-equality statement from the national group Freedom to Marry.

None of the three rules panel members present Wednesday, May 30 seconded Kalra’s motion to send his proposal to the full council for a vote at its June 5 meeting, according to a City Council staffer. Kalra isn’t a member of the rules committee, which Reed chairs.

Committee member Pierluigi Oliverio opted not to support Kalra’s resolution. Oliverio, who represents many of San Jose’s gay neighborhoods and supports marriage equality, is running for re-election against Steve Kline, an out gay lawyer on the June primary ballot.

In a statement Wednesday, Kline said, “Mr. Oliverio’s actions are hypocritical and insulting. Oliverio intends to raise the rainbow flag over City Hall on June 5 Election Day, and his actions today stops the council’s consideration on the most important issue to [the] LGBT community.” Oliverio wasn’t available for comment.

According to Kline, Oliverio proposed to delay the issue to an “undetermined date” and gained the support of Reed and Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen, another committee member.

Nguyen, who backs same-sex marriage but opposed Kalra’s resolution, has said, “I don’t want to impose my beliefs on any one individual.” According to a Kalra memo, Councilmen Don Rocha and Kansen Chu co-sponsored his resolution.

Councilman Pete Constant, the fourth rules panel member, was not at Wednesday’s meeting.

Rick Infantino, a gay man who has been pushing people to sign an online petition urging Reed to follow his fellow mayors in endorsing marriage equality, said in an interview Wednesday, “I don’t see how we could proudly raise the rainbow flag at City Hall when we don’t have equal protection under the law. … We’re not even welcomed at City Hall.” Reed recently cancelled a meeting with marriage backers.

Infantino said that the mayor of the country’s 10th largest city “is just ignoring us, marginalizing us, and not even willing to converse with us. He doesn’t want people to know where he stands especially before the election because he has a divisive issue on the ballot regarding pension reform [Measure B].”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, May 31, 2012 @ 12:47 pm PST
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