Gay-rights advocates and even some residents are scolding city leaders for embracing a nonbinding proposal that:
* Labels marriage between a man and a woman as "ordained of God."
* Sees homes as "open to a full quiver of children."
* Envisions young women "growing into wives, homemakers and mothers and . . . young men growing into husbands, home builders and fathers."
Valerie Larabee, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Utah in Salt Lake City, finds such language archaic and offensive.
"It doesn't address what the landscape of the American family looks like today," she said Tuesday. She said the concept of family "has evolved in a lot of different ways, and it is sad when government discriminates against the rights of families."
Kanab waitress Marina Johnson, a single mother of three, agrees, arguing that the resolution stigmatizes those who fall outside its limiting language.
"It should not matter if a couple is gay or single or what their religious affiliation is or whether they believe in God," she said. "It is not right that [someone's partner] be denied medical benefits just because they are not married in the traditional way."
Instead, she says, "people should be allowed to do the right thing and take care of the people they love."
But Kanab Councilman Anthony Chatterley backs the measure "wholeheartedly."
"I support the values, hopes and goals stated in the resolution," he said. Kanab "is a strong, family-oriented community. It always has been, and we would like to see this continue."
Carol Sullivan voted for the resolution - pitched by the conservative Sutherland Institute - last week when it was introduced by Mayor Kim Lawson. But the council's sole woman did so with some reservations.
"I saw no reason to vote against it because it is nonbinding," she said, noting that no one spoke out against it. "But I did wonder why it should be a government issue."
Sullivan also sees some of the resolution's language as "chauvinistic."
"It kind of made me feel like the odd one out . . . the square peg in a round hole. But that's how it is when you're the only woman on an all-male council."
Kanab is believed to be the only Utah city to approve the natural-family resolution. Others, including North Salt Lake and Mapletown, considered it and rejected it.
Paul Mero, president of the Salt Lake City-based think tank and author of the resolution, said he hopes Kanab's action builds momentum for a regional family congress planned for March 29 at Salt Lake City's Delta Center.
Mero calls the resolution an affirmation of marriage and family. He also maintains that, contrary to what critics say, the document is meant to keep government out of crafting moral standards for a community.
"The point of the resolution is that our morality and public mores should be developed in private," he said. "Government should be out of it. Families should be the incubators of morality. It is through family, church and neighborhoods that we learn to be who we are."
Mike Thompson, executive director of Equality Utah, says he appreciates the concern for the importance of families as expressed in the resolution, but he says the language is too narrow.
"Families today are so diverse," he said. "There are families with foster children, single parents, grandparents raising children, same-sex couples and single people whose friends are their families."