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Former Folsom mayor comes out, opposes Prop. 8

By: Roger Phelps, The Telegraph
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With a state gay-marriage vote just days away, former Folsom Mayor Glenn Fait advertised that he's gay and strongly opposed to Prop. 8, which would ban same-sex marriages. "As a gay man, I have a personal interest in Prop. 8," Fait's paid ad in The Telegraph Oct. 22 reads in part. "My civil rights are at stake. That is one reason I ask the people of Folsom to vote no on Prop. 8." While he has no plans to marry, Fait said one intent of his ad was to put give the marriage issue a human face. Fait's quarter-page ad ran on page A17 of The Telegraph. "The ad is extremely courageous," said Dennis Winger, Folsom resident. "The people who say, 'So what?' don't understand why he did it. It was not to announce that he's gay." At a "No on Prop. 8" rally in Folsom Oct. 23, Placerville resident John Savage said of Fait's ad, "I really like it. Sixteen years ago, when my partner died, I had to have his sister come sign for final arrangements." Resident Richard Dean said of same-sex marriage, "I couldn't care less -- if people want to get married, let them get married." Dean's friend Leo Hall, of Phoenix, Az. said most Arizonans, too, are unconcerned about gay marriage, despite Arizona being "a pretty conservative state." "It's immigration that's big in Phoenix politics right now," Hall said. Resident Reema Sereen said, "It doesn't matter as long as you're doing everything others do, maybe doing them better -- being mayor is a big responsibility." Fait served on the Folsom City Council from 1994 to 1998, and was mayor in 1995-96. "That was kind of a golden age," Fait said. "I signed the contract for the Natoma Bridge, and the contract for the historic Truss Bridge (improvement). We got light rail. I don't want to take a lot of credit for that. Bob Holderness, my predecessor mayor, gets a lot of credit." Fait, an attorney, was instrumental in removing Folsom code-enforcement cases from a crowded legal system, making them administrative matters. Fait said he hadn't had notice of a "No on Prop. 8" rally scheduled today on East Bidwell Street in Folsom, but that he supported it. "I'm obviously very much against Prop. 8, and therefore any constructive ways to get people to vote against it, I'm in favor," Fait said. --- Glenn Fait's advertisement: PLEASE VOTE NO ON 8 I have lived in Folsom most of my life. I was given the honor of being elected to the City Council and served as Mayor of the City of Folsom. As a gay man, I have a personal interest in Proposition 8. My civil rights are at stake. That is one reason I ask the people of Folsom to vote no on Proposition 8. I also ask you to vote no in memory of my Aunt Eleanor Fait. She was one of the best people I have ever known. She lived a full, productive life of service. From her volunteering to serve as one of the first WAC officers during World War II to her work as a State official protecting the rights of women and seniors. Five books were based on her amazing life. Some of you may remember Eleanor as a volunteer at the Folsom Historical Society. Some of you attended her 90th birthday party. Eleanor shared over 50 years of her life with her friend and partner Ruth Ward. They had an enduring relationship the envy of any married couple. When Eleanor died at age ninety three, Ruth was denied the right to be at her side. Although this happened because of a hospital mix up, I am convinced that they could have been together at the end of Eleanor’s life if they had been married. I don’t know if Eleanor and Ruth would have married, if that had been possible during their lives. But they should not have been denied that possibility. I ask you to please Vote No on Proposition 8 in memory of my Aunt Eleanor and her partner Ruth. Thank you, Glenn Fait, Former Mayor of Folsom