Equal Rights Activist, Mayor Cook React to "Gay Rights" Issue

POSTED: Friday, September 23, 2011 - 4:25pm

UPDATED: Friday, September 30, 2011 - 1:44pm

EL PASO- More than 9,000 signatures have been verified, but Mayor John Cook's fight against the recall isn't over yet.

Mayor cook and a local equal rights activist say this recall has nothing to do with overturning the people's vote and everything to do with providing health care benefits to gay employees. Mayor John Cook and representatives Susie Byrd and Steve Ortega could all be booted out of office for approving domestic partner benefits for city employees after the public voted against it. Mayor Cook says the controversy is about the two gay employees who asked for city health benefits for their partners, which they pay for.

"Maybe we should just phrase it that way on the ballot and say whether or not people approve of providing health care benefits to people even if they're gay," says Mayor Cook.

Mayor Cook is appealing the recall and says he thinks he's got a shot.

"We’ve got eyewitness testimony that signatures were being solicited at churches and at other corporations which is against the election code," says Mayor Cook.

Pastor Tom Brown spearheaded the recall. He says it's about letting the people's vote count. Equal rights activist Bill Ellis says he thinks Brown has different intentions.

"It’s important, I think at this point, to distinguish between Pastor Brown and Reverend Brown, because there's nothing reverend about a bigot," says Ellis.

Ellis says the recall is not only bad for the city officials, but our city as a whole.

"For us to have it and then take a giant leap backward really is discouraging to people who are progressively thinking who might want to come here and establish businesses," says Ellis.

He thinks there should be a separation of church and state.

"We’re trying to base our government based on a narrow interpretation of one religion, and that's how we're supposed to develop public policy yeah that's pretty backward," says Ellis.

The latest estimates for the recall election are at over $900,000. If you're wondering where that money might come from Mayor Cook says it could wipe out the $1.3 million in the budget allotted for parks, libraries and street maintenance.

Comments News Comments

OK, what part of this don't we understand?
26 U.S.C. Subtitle A, Chapter 1, Subchapter F, 501 (c)(3) Corporations and any community chest fund or foundation organized and operated exclusively for RELIGIOUS, charitable...purposes...No substantial part of the activities of which carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation and which does not participate in, or INTERVENE in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition any candidate for public office....

I AGREE 100% WITH THE COMMENTS MADE BY "TEXASWOMAN" IN THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS ARTICLE. Her and I and thousands more will get rid of the three Commies trying to undermine our democratic principles of this fine government of ours. Leave town, NOW, Cook, Byrd, and Ortega. It is great that O'Rourke is no longer with us.

The sad thing is that the people who are trying to keep "Crook" in office include a number of cruked attorneys in town who are simply going to prolong the litigation process for months until his term expires.

Ultimately the only people who win are the attorneys who are goign to suck up the 900k out of the city, win or lose.

The rats are saying "caching"!

The harsh reality is that "Crook" dosn't care about how much it will cost the citizens of El Paso to boot him off, all he cares about is his ego and his political career. However, even do we are going to pay the bill we should push forward based on principle. BOOT HIM OFF BEFORE HIS TERM ENDS.

Cook,Ortega,Byrd (and O'Rourke)acted like a wayward Police officer,who violated the Constitutional rights of a citizen.As a matter of fact, the 3 of you acted 40,000+ times worse than a police officer who violated the rights of just one person for going against our American Democratic principles. Can't you see that the 3 of you really messed up? RESIGN RIGHT NOW AND STOP CAUSING EL PASOANS MORE PROBLEMS! No, I don't hate gays!This is about Commies undermining our government.

Come on Cook, do the right thing and save the citizens of El Paso 900k and resign already! Prolonging the agony is only going to tarnish your name even more.

The recall effort isn't about "gay rights". It IS about Mayor Cook & the three city council representatives blatantly disregarding the LEGAL VOTE of the citizens of El Paso.
A resident roommate, live-in girl/boy friend, or other such persons, REGARDLESS of their sexual orientation, are NOT dependents (legal) of a city employee. IF that were the case, what about my dog/cat?

I agree. Pastor Brown even capitulated to have the wording of the ordinance changed. This was back in December 2010. Deny medical insurance coverage to only unmarried same sex couples but the city led by Cook and his 3 stooges (Ortega, Byrd and O'Rouke) did not agree and the rest is history.

In the private sector for example corporations will not allow a gay employee to have his/her spouse or dependents covered unless the marriage was legal. You have to submit your marriage license.

I don't think I have a price tag on my freedom to vote and for my vote to be counted. I don't care how much it cost the city to recall a mayor that has broken the law and thrown out votes. Whatever it cost is worth the money to keep my freedom.
The mayor, local newspapers, and tv stations have said it is a partner benefits issue. They are hiding behind the partner benefits because there is no way to explain how an elected official can throw out votes.

How about separation of Kingmanship and the voice of the people. That seems to be happening more and more in politics. The people voted and you should honor the vote.

Just resign Mayor Cook. Save us the tax dollars, you know your butt is gone anyways.

Lets save the city 900k, and let Mayor Crook resign, Brown back off and everyone happy.

Mr. Ellis needs to have his head examined or get educated on this subject. His ignorance is obvious. Separation of church and state? The U.S. Constitution makes no reference to "separation of church and state." It is covered by the First Amendment. What it means is government shall not interfere with religion not vice versa. Also, the Establishment Clause prevents the government from establishing a state church, not from publicly acknowledging God.

It's nice to hear from somebody who gets it.

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