For Immediate Release
U.S. Conference of Mayors Passes Resolution Supporting the Freedom to Marry
Mayors Across the Country Pledge to Lead the Fight Against Inequality
WASHINGTON - 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
In reference to the freedom to marry, the resolution
stated, “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that 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.
View the Resolution: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/
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Freedom to Marry is the gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Headed by Evan Wolfson, one of America's leading civil rights advocates and lawyers, Freedom to Marry brings new resources and a renewed context of urgency and opportunity to this social justice movement.