Monday, September 17, 2012
I have lived in this city for over fifty years, and hope to end my days here. Years ago, I quipped that we had two political parties here: the Left--and the Far Left. Barbara & I have always supported the Berkeley Democratic Club, a moderate group which has been out of power in recent years. We are happy to be friends of a former Mayor, Shirley Dean, who lives near us. The School Board recently conducted a search for a new Superintendent, to begin work next month. The sole candidate, who is clearly well qualified and experienced, has left his previous employment, pending hiring by Berkeley. Someone picked up the fact that, several years ago, he had assisted in the preparation of a document opposing same-sex marriage (SSM). (However, he did not express any personal views on the issue). Our local newspaper has reported that this may result in the School Board rejecting his application for the position. Several years ago, I felt that a "civil union", with all the benefits of marriage, should satisfy the proponents of SSM. My position "evolved" when I understood how marriage was so important to many same-sex couples. (The issue is still somewhat in limbo in California, after "Proposition 8" has been declared unconstitutional, but SSM has not yet been restored in our state.) However, in supporting SSM, I certainly do not feel that it is appropriate for us to refuse to hire the successful candidate on suspicion that he may hold unexpressed contrary views.