Three fundamental concerns are driving the formation of the new citizens organization:
I. The negative impact of special rights initiatives on all businesses and property owners, with a particularly negative impact on faith- based and faith-inspired businesses and property owners.
II. The negative impact of special rights initiatives on every citizen's constitutionally protected rights to freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly.
III. The negative impact of the practice of homosexuality on the individuals who practice it and on the rest of the society.
The main multifaceted emphasis of the group is to defend Traditional Marriage as 'between one man and one woman', to respond to the controversy at the University of Notre Dame regarding homosexual activism at several levels, to respond to 'special rights for homosexuals' ordinances as they come forward in the Region and to facilitate help and ministry for those suffering from the ill effects of the homosexual lifestyle.
Council to Discuss Human Rights Code - South Bend TribuneJamie Loo, Tribune Staff Writer
As printed in the South Bend Tribune, 4/8/06
Council to discuss human rights code
SOUTH BEND -- A year to the day since the Common Council saw a presentation on adding sexual orientation to the city human rights code, the council will re-examine the issue behind closed doors.
Council President Timothy Rouse, D-at large, is convening an executive session April 11 to discuss a proposal that would add protection for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people to the city human rights code.
Since the issue was first raised in 2004, the council has received letters and other testimony regarding the proposed ordinance. One of the letters, sent by Joseph P. Sergio in October 2004, said a change to the ordinance "is likely to trigger an endless source of lawsuits" on both sides of the issue. Sergio, who is a member of Citizens for Community Values, didn't say that he was initiating any lawsuits over the ordinance.
In a memorandum to the council, Rouse said, "in light of the threat of litigation, I believe that an executive session would be helpful."
The issue was brought up first in July 2004 by then-council President Charlotte Pfeifer, D-2nd. Meetings were held to gather input, and people were encouraged to send their thoughts on the proposal to the Common Council.
In January 2005, the South Bend Human Rights Commission issued a position statement asking the Common Council to investigate possible sexual orientation discrimination in the city and to consider a "remedy."
April 11, 2005, was the last time the council officially examined the issue when South Bend Equality, a group representing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered rights, gave a presentation to the Council Personnel and Finance Committee.
Recently, several citizens have spoken during the Common Council's privilege of the floor, supporting protection for GLBT people through an ordinance. During the council's last meeting March 27, Bill Eagan, a member of the Human Rights Commission, asked the council why no action has been taken on the issue.
Staff writer Jamie Loo:
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