Last edited: July 11, 2004


Dean, Council Clash on Gay Unions

He’s lone critic of marriage resolution

The Times-Picayune, July 10, 2004
3800 Howard Ave., New Orleans, LA 70140
Fax: 504-826-3369

By Amy Blakely, St. Bernard bureau

When it comes to supporting legislation about “family marriage,” St. Bernard Parish Council members—with the exception of Council Chairman Lynn Dean—say “I do.”

On Tuesday, the council decided to pass a resolution alerting the state’s congressional delegation to their thoughts on the sanctity of marriage.

Councilman Craig Taffaro offered a resolution supporting family marriage or, specifically, the union of one man and one woman in marriage.

The move prompted a mini-showdown between Dean and Taffaro, 38, a psychotherapist, who has been married for 17 years and has seven children.

Dean, noting that he and his wife, Jackie, have been married for 56 years, said he opposed Taffaro’s resolution. He paraphrased some biblical passages, saying people should love their neighbors and not judge others. Dean also said gay couples don’t enjoy the same financial benefits a husband and wife might.

All of that combined, Dean said, makes him think that government shouldn’t get involved in defining marriage.

Taffaro said he and Dean would just have to disagree.

In the end, Taffaro’s pro-marriage resolution passed with only Dean objecting.

This isn’t the first time that Dean, 80, has stood up publicly for gay rights.

In 2003, when he was a state senator, Dean sponsored a bill that would have exempted private conduct among consenting adults from the state’s sodomy law. Aspects of that law applying to homosexuals were eventually muted by the U.S. Supreme Court when it overturned a Texas sodomy law.

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