Bipartisan “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” launches

Today we're excited to announce the launch of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, a bipartisan coalition of 75+ Mayors who pledge to support marriage for gay and lesbian couples! You may have first heard about this impressive coalition of Mayors a few days ago when the Wall Street Journal broke the story that Mayors of some of America's largest cities were joining together to support the freedom to marry.

The coalition will officially launch this morning at 10am, as Freedom to Marry and a handful of notable Mayors host a press conference at the 80th annual U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington D.C. Participants at today's press conference include: Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles; Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diegol Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston; Mayor Annise Parker of Houston; Mayor Marilyn Strickland of Tacoma; Marc Solomon, our National Campaign Director here at Freedom to Marry; and Tom Cochran, U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director.

Mayors for the Freedom to Marry includes mayors from cities and towns—large and small—with diverse geographic, ethnic and political backgrounds. The list includes the mayors of America’s four largest cities—Michael Bloomberg of New York, Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, and Annise Parker of Houston. It also includes mayors from cities including Juneau, Alaska; Des Moines, Iowa; Bloomington, Indiana; and Lewiston, Maine, where the freedom to marry may go to the ballot in 2012. You can click here to view the full list of Mayors.

We think that this coalition will truly be a game-changer in growing and demonstrating nationwide support for the freedom to marry. Marc Solomon, our National Campaign Director, released this statement this morning:

“We’re launching this effort at a time when more Americans than ever support the freedom to marry. When New York ended its exclusion of gay couples from marriage this summer, the number of people living in states that treat all committed couples equally more than doubled—from 16 million to 35 million Americans.  Marriage is on the march in towns and cities across the nation and these mayors will play an important role in advancing the cause.” 

San Diego's Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders- a chair of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry- explains beautifully why he has signed on to the effort:

Allowing loving and committed couples to join in marriage has benefits not just for couples and their families—but also for society.  Marriage encourages people to take responsibility for each other, provides greater security for children, and helps our country live up to its promises set forth in our founding documents. These are important values for a strong society, and we should encourage them.”  

Be sure to follow Freedom to Marry on Facebook and Twitter (using the #Mayors4M hashtag) this morning for live updates from the press conference!