Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
Chino Hills could take sides in state's marriage debate
Los Angeles Times 7Feb00 P2
By David Hermann
CHINO HILLS, CALIFORNIA -- Proposition 22, The California Defense of
Marriage Act, will go to the voters on March 7. For now, support for
the proposition is seen with blue-and-yellow signs sprouting up on
front lawns all across California in anticipation of the vote. The
proposition will add 14 words to the California State Family Code.
"Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in
Chino Hills Councilman, Gary Larson, proposed on Tuesday, a proclamation
expressing the city's support for the controversial marriage initiative. He
noticed the local groundswell and thought the city should get involved. "I
think we represent the constituents in our community," he said. "And I
think we ought to speak up when it can mean something." "The overwhelming
majority of people here are in favor of the idea that Proposition 22
portrays, and this is a democracy," Larson said. "I think it's only right
that we take a stand on the issue."
Rancho Hills Drive resident, Karen Broberg, has been on her feet
distributing "Yes on 22" pamphlets. The eight-year resident said she never
put a political sign in her front yard or ever been this involved in any
issue before. "But Prop. 22 is different," she said. "Family is the most
important thing in the world," Broberg said. "A family is a mother and a
father. Not two of either one." Broberg admits that her strong feelings
come from her Mormon faith, but says other local churches are pushing the
measure as well.
In a home a few miles away, Maria Balich sits with a gold-embossed Bible
on her table. "In our hearts, in our souls, we feel marriage is only right
between a man and a woman," she said. Balich, 54, has lived in Chino Hills
with her husband Larry for l0 years and worships at the Chino Hills Calvary
Chapel. They picked up a blue-and-yellow sign several Sundays ago and
proudly display it on their Hawthorn Avenue corner lot.
The religious support for Prop.22 has raised questions about whether it is
appropriate for a local government to get involved. David Kramer, Natural
Law party candidate for the 4lst Congressional District in 1996 and 1998
said, "I happen to be married to a woman." "And that's the tradition that
I'm passing on to my son and my daughters."
"I question something that makes differences more important than the
harmony that exists in our community," he said. "If a vote is necessary,
fine. Let's vote in the privacy of the voting booth. I don't need to see
my city council as an official body taking an official position."
Mayor Mike Wickman, who personally supports Prop. 22, does not support an
official Chino Hills proclamation. "It's a social issue," Wickman said.
"The city does not benefit from a vote on this matter, and as a matter of
fact, it could end up with legal problems because of it. I hate putting the
city in harm's way when it's not necessary."
At Prop.22 headquarters in Sacramento, Robert Glazier, communications
director says the campaign isn't paying much attention to the position of
local governments. "Some cities are endorsing it and some are coming out
against it," Glazier said. "We're grateful for any support, but we're
focusing more on the actual voters of California. We believe most families
will make this decision based on their own moral values and not on what a
local politician tells them."