A committee of the U. S. Conference of Mayors approved a resolution this week during its annual convention that backs marriage equality, both at the state and federal levels, and supports various other pro-LGBT issues.
The Criminal and Social Justice Committee approved the resolution, “Equality and Civil Rights for Gay and Lesbian Americans,” on June 15.
Openly gay mayors Christopher Cabaldon of West Sacramento, Calif.; Sam Adams of Portland, Ore.; and David Cicilline of Providence, R.I., the host city for the conference, authored the resolution.
Mayor Nutter, who attended the conference, was not a member of the committee.
The mayors expressed support of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which would ban discrimination against LGBT individuals at the federal level; the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which seeks to repeal the military’s ban on openly gay servicemembers; the Uniting American Families Act, legislation that would amend U.S. immigration law to allow Americans to sponsor their same-sex foreign-born partners for immigration; and the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate-Crimes Prevention Act, which would include the LGBT community in federal hate-crimes legislation.
The resolution further provides unequivocal support for same-sex marriage.
“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 resolution states.
Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, commended the mayors’ position on equality.
“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,” Wolfson said. “The mayors have their fingers on the pulse of the country, and their voices said loud and clear that ending discrimination in marriage is the way to go.”
The resolution described that the U.S. Conference of Mayors has had a long history of championing LGBT rights, citing its 1984 resolution calling for widespread nondiscrimination laws for gays and lesbians; its endorsement of hate-crimes protections to LGBT individuals in 1991, 1992 and 1994; and the $12.6 million it has awarded for HIV prevention work.
The measure also drew attention to the work of numerous mayors who have taken the lead on LGBT issues, such as San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who authorized the granting of same-sex marriage licenses in 2004; and Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, who earlier this year signed legislation to allow the district to recognize legal same-sex marriages.