Five new mayors sign on to Mayors for the Freedom to Marry

This week, five new mayors from Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia signed onto our Mayors for the Freedom to Marry initiative, a broad-based and nonpartisan group of mayors who believe that all people should be able to share in the love and commitment of marriage.

The new mayors include Luke Ravenstahl of Pittsburgh, PA (right)Marilyn Gerber of Coconut Creek, FL; Nick Kitchen of Capron, VA; Michael Kohut of Haverstraw, NY; and Alexander Gromack of Congers, NY. Each of these mayors signed onto our Mayors for the Freedom to Marry statement, affirming the importance of the freedom to marry. The statement reads, in part:

Our cities derive great strength from their diversity, and gay and lesbian families are a crucial part. Studies have shown what we know through our hands-on experience-that cities that celebrate and cultivate diversity are the places where creativity and ideas thrive. They are the places where today's entrepreneurs are most likely to choose to build the businesses of tomorrow. Allowing same-sex couples the right to marry enhances our ability to build this kind of environment, which is good for all of us.

We stand for the freedom to marry because it enhances the economic competitiveness of our communities, improves the lives of families that call our cities home, and is simply the right thing to do. We look forward to working to build an America where all people can share in the love and commitment of marriage with the person with whom they share their life.

Mayor Ravenstahl spoke to a local news organization in Pittsburgh about his decision to stand with Freedom to Marry. He said:

 I have had numerous discussions with members of my staff who are gay, with friends who are gay - and as I said, hearts change, minds change, and mine has changed.

The addition of these five mayors brings our Mayors for the Freedom to Marry campaign up to 231 from all across the country.  

Has your Mayor joined Mayors for the Freedom to Marry yet? Check out the list here, and if they haven't, you can start a petition asking them to join the growing bipartisan chorus of mayors nationwide who are raising their voices to end the exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from marriage.