By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com July 01 2003 11:00 PM ET
The executive director of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Memorial Hospital said he would resign Monday in protest of a city council decision to eliminate benefits for same-sex couples. Michael Schrader said it has become difficult for him to do his job because he told his gay employees that benefits would be available for their partners. Schrader also said he was upset the council backed a state law that prevents cities from banning guns in most public buildings. "I need to stand up and be counted," Schrader told KVOR-AM of Colorado Springs. "I need to say that the actions regarding domestic partners is wrong, the action regarding guns in public buildings, especially hospitals, is wrong. Those things in particular have made it really difficult to do my job."
Mayor Lionel Rivera and the majority of the new council members elected April 1 had pledged to eliminate same-sex benefits. They joined two holdovers who had opposed the measure earlier in overturning the program in an 8-1 vote. The reversal demonstrated a sharp ideological shift on the council from its 5-4 approval of the benefits last December. Rivera defended the action, saying council members were very open about their plans. "Council sets the policy, and if they can't live with council policies, then it's probably the best decision to move on," Rivera told the station.