Monday, June 15, 2009

Nations’s mayors support gay freedom to marry

via 365gay Newswire

The U.S. Conference of Mayors today passed a resolution in support of ending the exclusion of gay couples from marriage.

The resolution, titled “Equality and Civil Rights for Gay and Lesbian Americans,” included support for the freedom to marry along with endorsement of federal bills such as Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, the Uniting American Families Act, and the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

“By passing this resolution, America’s mayors spoke for the families they know and serve in communities across the country, and said that excluding those families from the freedom to marry must stop,” said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People’s Right to Marry. “The mayors have their fingers on the pulse of the country, and their voices today said loud and clear that ending discrimination in marriage is the way to go.”

The resolution stated, “The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports marriage equality for same-sex couples, and the recognition and extension of full equal rights to such unions, including family and medical leave, tax equity, and insurance and retirement benefits, and opposes the enshrinement of discrimination in the federal or state constitutions.”

“The nation’s mayors are proud to take the lead in recognizing the importance of protecting all our citizens equally. It is now time for state legislatures and our federal government to enact the same protections for all our nation’s citizens,” said U.S. Conference of Mayors President Greg Nickels, Mayor of Seattle.

“The mayors’ leadership reaffirms that the freedom to marry should not be partisan or political, but rather is part of the security and respect all couples who’ve made a commitment to care for one another and who are dealing with life’s ups and downs should have, especially in these challenging economic times.” said Wolfson. “Now the New York State Senate should be the next to lead the nation on the path to equality by swiftly passing the freedom to marry bill into law.”

New York’s Assembly passed the marriage bill in May, and political leaders from across the state, including New York City’s Independent/Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg and U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, have called on the State Senate to follow suit in the next few weeks. New York Governor David Paterson is ready to sign the bill. New Jersey also has a governor pledged to sign the state’s pending freedom to marry bill once it reaches his desk.

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