300 Mayors speak out for the freedom to marry
February 14, 2013
Today, Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, the broad-based and nonpartisan coalition that launched just over a year ago, welcomed its 300th member. 300 mayors from 32 states and the District of Columbia have signed the pledge to support marriage for same-sex couples, meaning that the coalition has nearly quadrupled in size since launching last year. Mayors for the Freedom to Marry celebrated its one-year anniversary in January at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.
The 300th mayor is Denny Doyle of Beaverton, Oregon. He announced his support in a release today, just days after the launch of Oregon United for Marriage, the coalition working to collect signatures in preparation for a November 2014 ballot initiatve to overturn the state's constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples. He said:
Beaverton is a diverse, welcoming community that respects and supports marriage equality. What a wonderful valentine to send from Beaverton!
Our founder and president Evan Wolfson applauded the amazing growth of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. He said:
It's truly inspiring to see Mayors for the Freedom to Marry grow as so many of our cities' leaders come together to make the case for marriage as good for the families, businesses, and communities they know and serve. Mayors are in a unique position to make the case for marriage, and are accessible and responsive to the constituents and communities they serve, making them super-strong advocates for ending marriage discrimination and helping state and federal lawmakers and judges do the right thing. Freedom to Marry is proud of the way in which the mayors' leadership has encouraged people across the country to take action to help enlist their own mayors in the cause.
Other notable Mayors for the Freedom to Marry include Kasim Reed of Atlanta, who previously opposed marriage for same-sex couples; Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, the 2012 chair of the Democratic National Convention; and Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, the chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The leadership committee for the coalition includes Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, Mayor Annise Parker of Houston, and Villaraigosa.
The mayors range from geographically diverse cities both large and small, in states with the freedom to marry, states that are considering marriage legislation this year, and states without any relationship recognition for same-sex couples.