Nutter Lends Support to Gay Marriage

More than 70 mayors around the country pledge their support for LGBT rights

Courtesy of the Office of Mayor

Today at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington D.C., Philly’s own Mayor Michael Nutter joined in support of marriage equality with more than 70 other mayors around the country. Nutter and others – including New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Thomas Menino of Boston – formed a new coalition called Mayors for Freedom to Marry. The bipartisan group was formed with Freedom to Marry, an organization dedicated to legalizing same-sex marriage rights in America.

“If we truly believe in family values, we should value all families,” says Antonio R. Villaraigosa, the mayor of Los Angeles, chair of the new group and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “Denying gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry weakens society by hurting our communities, neighbors, and families. We hope other mayors will sign the pledge and join Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.”

Bloomberg touted the advantages to same-sex marriage rights in his home state of New York. “In only a season, the freedom to marry has already made New York a stronger state,” he says. “This isn’t about partisanship or ideology. It’s about extending the freedoms of our country to all people, and ensuring equal protection under the law. Mayors understand that welcoming committed gay couples to the rights and responsibilities of marriage isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s also the smart thing to do for the diverse, dynamic, forward-looking cities we’re all working to build.”

Nutter and the other mayors – both Democrats and Republicans – all signed the following statement in support of LGBT rights:

“As mayors of great American cities, we proudly stand together in support of the freedom of same-sex couples to marry. We personally know many gay and lesbian people living in our cities who are in committed, loving relationships, who are active participants in the civic life of our communities, and who deserve to be able to marry the person with whom they share their life.

We are proud that at its 2009 annual meeting, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously approved a resolution stating 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.”

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.”

We’re proud that Philadelphia joined the campaign. Nice job, Mayor Nutter!