The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Angela Dallara
Media Relations Manager, Freedom to Marry

Salt Lake City's Becker Joins Mayors for the Freedom to Marry

Salt Lake City

Today, more than a month after officiating marriages for same-sex couples in Utah, Mayor Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City joined Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. Mayors for the Freedom to Marry is a national, broad-based and nonpartisan coalition of mayors who believe that all people should be able to share in the protections and responsibilities of marriage.

"One of the most moving, joyful experiences I've had as an elected official was officiating marriages for almost three dozen local gay couples who have awaited equal treatment under the law," said Mayor Becker. "While the judicial process runs its course, I'll continue to advocate for fair, inclusive policies for our whole community through the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. It's just the right thing to do."

Mayor Becker married the couples on the first day marriage licenses were issued in Utah last month, following a federal judge striking down the state's marriage ban, The judge said the ban violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection.

"Mayor Becker stood for fairness and freedom when he became one of the first officials to issue marriage licenses to committed same-sex couples last month," said Brandie Balken, executive director of Equality Utah. "As the Utah ruling makes its way up the ladder, it's critical that leaders like Mayor Becker be vocal in support of the freedom to marry and of the Constitution's command of equality, until all Utahns are treated equally under the law. Mayors for the Freedom to Marry is an important campaign to start the conversation of marriage in our community."

Mayors for the Freedom to Marry is co-chaired by Annise Parker of Houston, Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Julian Castro of San Antonio, Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Kasim Reed of Atlanta, and Greg Stanton of Phoenix. It consists of more than 400 mayors from around the country who have pledged to make the case for the freedom to marry in their communities.

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.