A Bainbridge Island councilmember who wants to create a day to recognize people who choose not to have children didn't get much support from his peers.
"I Didn't Reproduce Day" was proposed for the third Sunday in June by Ron Peltier. But some of his fellow councilmembers called it insensitive.
At a recent council meeting, Peltier read a message he received asking if his proposal was a joke.
"It's not a joke," Peltier said. “I’m dead serious.”
Overpopulation and environmental issues were driving his proposal to recognize people who choose to not procreate.
Mayor Kol Medina said he understood where Peltier was coming from -- noting that he and his wife initially did not intend to have children due to the same concerns as Peltier, but later decided to have one.
"... because we don’t feel the need to replicate ourselves in the world and we can leave fewer than the two of us," Medina said. "So I understand the point and I agree with that point but I just don't know that this is the right way to go about getting at it."
Peltier received immediate brushback by fellow council members, calling the proposal insensitive.
“As the only person on this council who has not reproduced, I think it’s very insensitive. Some people aren’t able to," Councilmember Sarah Blossom said. "Some people make a choice not to, but that doesn’t mean they’re happy with the choice, and it’s not something to celebrate. I think it’s really insensitive.”
Councilmember Joe Deets concurred.
“I agree with the lack of sensitivity. I don’t understand why you did this. I’m not in favor of this at all," Deets said.
The proposal did not garner enough support to move forward.
At the end of the discussion over his proposal, Peltier said he stands by it.
"I don't feel bad about it," he said.
Peltier is not the first person to suggest "I Didn't Reproduce Day," nor the most famous. Comedian Bill Maher proposed the same thing on his show HBO show "Real Time With Bill Maher" two years ago. See the segment here (Warning: graphic language).