Marietta gay couples catch a break – only in death

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Even facing a federal mandate to be nice to its dead gay married employees, the Marietta City Council balked on Wednesday. Then it quickly dispensed with the matter lest anyone think these elected officials were on board with same-sex marriage.

Still, City Council member Anthony Coleman (photo) made a point that he and his homophobia won't be bullied by the IRS and the Supreme Court. Or his federal indictment on racketeering charges.

From the Marietta Daily Journal:

Coleman, who had not commented on the issue in discussions at previous meetings, said he was opposed to the change because of his religious beliefs. Coleman said his allegiance to God is greater than his allegiance to the community or the law, and he does not agree with same-sex marriage.

“As a person, as a man, as a father and as an elected official … the foundation of my being is as a Christian. I have a responsibility when it comes to all these things,” Coleman said.

“I am here to serve my community. However, I will never compromise my belief regardless of what other towns, cities and governments may mandate,” added Coleman.

So Coleman provided the lone dissenting voice in a 6-1 vote to change the city's pension policy to allow the surviving spouse of a deceased gay married city employee to inherit their pension. It's a change mandated by the IRS in the wake of Supreme Court decision last year striking down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Scores of cities across Georgia – Marietta was the last of six cities in Cobb County – had to change their definition of “spouse” if their pensions were administered by the Georgia Municipal Association.

A City Council committee OK'd the change last month, but not before several council members aired their grievances against gay marriage and made it clear that their brief burst of progressiveness was federally mandated.

The Cobb County Commission is expected to consider the “spouse” change at its Sept. 23 meeting, the MDJ reports. What could possibly go wrong there?

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