'Incredibly insensitive': How a proposal to honor the childless tanked on Bainbridge Island | KNKX

'Incredibly insensitive': How a proposal to honor the childless tanked on Bainbridge Island

Oct 17, 2020

This story originally aired on February 14, 2020.

It started over a few glasses of wine, with friends passing around a smartphone and sharing views of a sketch by late-night comedian Bill Maher.

The idea presented there, for a holiday on par with those honoring moms and dads, often provokes laughter. “I Didn’t Reproduce Day” would celebrate single people, aunts and uncles who help out — and not just by being allies to parents or mentors to young people. Maher makes the case that people who remain childless are saving resources and preventing thousands of tons of carbon pollution from warming the Earth’s climate.  

Ron Peltier in his home office, where, as a member of the Bainbridge Island City Council, he wrote the "I Didn't Reproduce Day" proclamation.
Credit Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

“He hit the nail on the head with the impact  the impact of population,” said Ron Peltier, a former Bainbridge Island City Council member.

“He really spoke the truth, you know? That single people have been stigmatized for not having children — as if they’re lesser. I think that’s really unfair.”

Peltier didn’t stop thinking about it for days. Then inspiration struck and he cranked out a proclamation that would make the humor into a serious holiday.

He says when he introduced it, he didn’t really think it would go far, but hoped for a good conversation among colleagues. He didn’t expect it to provoke an emotional reaction that shut would shut down the discussion entirely.

The text of the failed proclamation.
Credit Bellamy Pailthorp