Carbondale trustees looking to make town more LGBT friendly |

Carbondale trustees looking to make town more LGBT friendly

Inspired by Boulder County’s attempts to legalize same-sex marriage, the Carbondale Board of Trustees is considering a resolution to show their support for the LGBT community.

The municipality cannot issue marriage licenses of any sort, so the move would be mostly symbolic. The idea was originally put forward by Trustee Katrina Byars and discussed the issue at a work session on Tuesday, where there was broad — though not unanimous — agreement that something ought to be done.

“In my view, this is about people finding happiness and being able to share that openly,” Pam Zentmeyer said. “We have the opportunity to hopefully make people feel more safe and healthy in our town.”

Trustee Allyn Harvey agreed. The issue, he said, was local as well as national.

“This presents an opportunity to state that we’re more than just tolerant, we are friendly,”

Frosty Merriott was less enthusiastic.

“I think that this discussion on same-sex marriage is a waste of council time and not what we were elected to do,” he said. He added that, if the small town board decide to get involved in national politics, the Keystone Pipeline and the impending bombings in Syria might be more pressing issues to address.

Mayor Stacey Bernot suggested the town include some practical changes such ensuring that same-sex spouses of town employees are extended the same benefits as straight couples. Currently the language is “neither inclusive or exclusive,” according to Town Manager Jay Harrington. Although no family member has been excluded so far, Bernot was loathe to wait until the situation arises to address it.

Still, she was cautious about setting precedent for town-level action on international issues.

“Where do we draw the line?” she asked. “There are a lot of injustices in our society that we don’t always weigh in on. As much as we would like to change the world, it’s not all in our control.”

The conversation will continue as town staff drafts the resolution for ultimate board approval.

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