Elk Grove Mayor, Three City Councilmen Unwilling to Take Stand on Indiana Anti-LGBT Imbroglio

March 31, 2015 | Since last week's signing by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence of that state's so-called Religious Freedom Restoration A...

March 31, 2015 |

Since last week's signing by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence of that state's so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a firestorm of controversy has erupted.

Uniformly, the law has been condemned by big business, civil rights leaders and especially businesses in the the City of Indianapolis. Last week, San Francisco and Seattle mayor's Ed Lee and Ed Murray imposed a ban on discretionary city employee travel to the state. Yesterday, the State of Washington imposed a similar ban.
Change the word "white" to 'straight" and you can get an idea
of how Indians's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act can 
be applied. Does it take that much courage from Mayor 
Gary Davis and Council Member Steve Ly to take a stance
against something like this?

On Sunday, an email of inquiry was sent to Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis and Council Members Steve Detrick, Pat Hume, Steve Ly and Darren Suen to see if they would be willing to take a stand similar to San Francisco and Seattle on the issue. As of Tuesday, only one of the five has responded.

"I certainly share [San Francisco] Mayor Lee's sentiments," Council Member Suen said. "We shouldn't tolerate discrimination against the LGBT community or any other community."

Suen added that he did not think there is any pending city employee travel to Indiana and that passing an ordinance was not necessary. He added, "I'm willing to consider the matter, however."

The council's two Republican members, Detrick and Hume, not surprisingly did not respond to the inquiry. Neither men, nor their party, have been known to take pro-equality stances in the post 1965 Civil Rights era. Likewise, neither Detrick nor Hume have ever broached equality or social issues from the dais or during their campaigns, so why would they take a stance now?

On the other hand, the council's two other members, Democrat's Davis and Ly, have frequently invoked stances on a variety of social issues from the dais, and especially during their respective campaigns. On the Indiana matter however, both have stood mute.

For local members of the Democratic Party, especially Sacramento Stonewall Democrats, there must be disappointment that Davis and Ly have not taken a stance in condemning the law, which marginalizes a segment of the larger community. As leading elected party members in the region's second largest municipality, their lack of courage, even if it is largely symbolic, to stand with a constituency that has been four-square with them and the Democratic Party is demonstrative.

One final note, for all the talk we hear about attracting high end jobs, what better way to communicate that Elk Grove is a progressive-minded city, open and ready for business. If nothing else, the CEO of the city's largest private employer, Apple, who opined in opposition Indiana's new law, would have taken note. 

A lost opportunity. 


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Anonymous said...

"Lost opportunities" If there is no money in the game we don't play it.

SteveB6509 said...

Let's see...in previous posts, you want to Council to focus on real issues and then you get mad when most of them don't respond to your (likely annoying) emails. You are really starting to look like a marginal character in our city.

Let me make it clear: The Indiana law is wrong. Please also note: The Indiana Governor and Legislative leaders have clearly stated they didn't intend on it being discriminatory and will modify the law to reflect that.

The law is wrong. FYI, I tend to vote Republican (although I am not registered as Republican) so your attempts at degrading a whole group of people (Republicans) looks petty and infantile - kind of like the religious bigots who do try and exclude the LGBT community.

Anonymous said...

They don't have time for this, they're jostling to get a NFL team to locate in Destination City.

Connie said...

Whenever I read articles of this kind, either nationally, state or locally, I always go back to one of my favorite quotes: “If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves. We should, therefore, protest openly everything . . . that smacks of discrimination or slander.” ~ Mary McLeod Bethune

Anonymous said...


No, the facts are that Governor Pence was not clear, and in fact refused to answer, 'yes' or 'no' anywhere from five to eight times when George Stephanpoulos asked whether the Indiana law would protect those who discriminate against LGBT.

It is worth Googling the show just to hear Pence avoid the answers EVERY time he was asked.

And, Suen, I appreciate that you responded, but your response was 'slippery' in that no 'ordinance' is necessary, just a statement of position against discrimination - here and everywhere.

I agree - missed opportunity.

1-800-RegionBuilders said...

C'mon, you expect Elk 'Rooftops & Retail' Grove to take a position of national significance?

Anonymous said...

This is what the Elk Grove City Council approved for the Multi Cultural Commission.


Make a Difference by Celebrating It.

The City of Elk Grove’s unique and diverse population adds a vibrant quality to our community. To help celebrate and support our shared diversity we are asking all of our residents to take the Elk Grove Diversity Pledge. Thank you for supporting diversity—the one thing we all have in common.

Take the Elk Grove Diversity Pledge

I realize no one in Elk Grove is exactly like me and that’s an amazing thing.
I respect my neighbors for the things we have in common and for our differences.
I resolve that we all need to get along to make our community the best it can be.
Elk Grove Diversity Pledge

Steve L said...

Thank you Darren for standing up for civil rights. Rev. King and others would be proud. Our soldiers have died protecting those rights, but our elected, sans Suen, won't take a stand or even comment?

Discrimination is a bad policy.

Councilman Suen may be finally finding a bit of a comfort zone. Glad to see he thinks for himself and doesn't ALWAYS go along with the others on the dais. That's a trait that may just serve him well in the future.

Steve L said...

Steve B seems be saying that we to focus on "real issues."

While an Indiana law does not directly affect us here in cow-town USA, it may provided a look into the moral compass of our electeds. Their moral compass should be of great concern to all of us.

Do they appreciate the thought of our founding fathers and the fight(s) they endured to make this country one in which ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL?
Do they appreciate all the lives that were lost and maimed fighting to maintain those inalienable rights?

Stand up if you believe in the concept of All Men are Created Equal. Denounce those who discriminate against others that may be different. Stand quietly if you're not sure where you stand on the issue of this law. - Your moral compass is showing, and for me it's very disappointing, especially from someone that's supposed by be a leader.

Thanks Darren for having some understanding, pride and gratitude.

Capt. Benjamin L. Willard said...

I agree with the comments posted directly above this by Mr. Steve L. It cannot be stated much clearer than that.

As. for Mr. Steve B. above, with all due respect, if Mr. Gougherty's addressing this topic makes him like "a marginal character in our city", why are you participating in the discussion, the second to post a comment on this topic, and for that matter frequenting this site?

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