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Highlight reel courtesy of Freedom To Marry.

A bipartisan coalition of over 70 75 80+ mayors held a press conference called the U.S. Conference of Mayors today to announce their unity to support marriage equality for LGBT citizens and their intention to work toward that goal. The coalition has united under the banner “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry” sponsored by Freedom To Marry. The conference was held just as Washington state is reporting to be but one vote short of passing a marriage equality bill through the state Senate.

FTM
(Freedom To Marry)
Some highlights from Freedom to Marry's Twitter feed:
"The question is not if marriage equality will come to all 50 states, the question is when."—Mike Bloomberg, Mayor New York City, NY
"If we truly believe in family values, we should value all families."—Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
"Now is the time to take action – we hope other mayors will sign the pledge and join #Mayors4M" .—Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Next up: Republican @MayorSanders from San Diego: "I didn't always support the freedom to marry, but my position has evolved"—Jerry Sanders, San Diego, CA
Houston Mayor Annise Parker, a lesbian, announced to applause that she celebrated 21 years with her partner on Monday. She said:
"Marriage makes strong communities. Strong communities make strong cities. Cities are the backbone of America."

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menio said marriage equality has made Boston a much nicer place to live, but unfortunately his constituents are still discriminated against by the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):

Menino:"#DOMA has a very real impact in the lives of my constituents... that's just wrong. It goes against basic values of fairness."

Mayor Marilyn Strickland from Tacoma, Washington said, "Same-sex couples are denied critical economic safety net." And:

"Unlike civil union or domestic partnership, marriage ensures the full measures of protections and respect."
"You have a right to get a marriage license regardless of your orientation. I welcome the President to speak out on this."—Mike Bloomberg.

The statement the group has endorsed:

Mayors for the Freedom to Marry Statement

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.

Mayors
Mayors Mike Bloomberg (New York City, NY), Thomas M. Menio (Boston, MA), Annise Parker (Houston, TX), Jerry Sanders (San Diego, CA), Antonio Villaraigosa (Los Angeles, CA) (Freedom to Marry)

Mayors
Freedom To Marry's press conference (Chris Geidner/Twitter)
The list of signers from Freedom to Marry. When the conference was announced they said they had 70. They are now saying 80+, so the list may not be entirely up to date.
       
Michael Bloomberg - New York, NY (Chair) Thomas Menino - Boston, MA (Chair)
Annise Parker - Houston, Texas (Chair)    Jerry Sanders - San Diego, CA (Chair)
Antonio Villaraigosa - Los Angeles, CA (Chair)    Samuel Adams - Portland, OR
Tom Bates - Berkeley, CA    William Bell - Durham, NC
David Berger - Lima, OH    Richard Bloom - Santa Monica, CA
Cory Booker - Newark, NJ    Bruce Botelho - Juneau, AK
Ardell Brede - Rochester, MN    Christopher Cabaldon - W. Sacramento, CA
John Callahan - Bethlehem, PA    Stephen Cassidy - San Leandro, CA
Craig Cates - Key West, FL    Mark Chilton - Carrboro, NC
Joshua Cohen - Annapolis, MD    Chris Coleman - St. Paul, MN
Dennis Coombs - Longmont, CO    Joy Cooper - Hallandale Beach, FL
Frank Cownie - Des Moines, IA    John Duran - West Hollywood, CA
Paul Dyster - Niagara Falls, NY    Rahm Emanuel - Chicago, IL
Bill Finch - Bridgeport, CT    Peter Fosselman - Kensington, MD
Bob Foster - Long Beach, CA    Laura Friedman - Glendale, CA
Ava Frisinger - Issaquah, WA    Marie Gilmore - Alameda, CA
Mike Gin, Redondo Beach, CA    Vincent Gray - Washington, D.C.
George Heartwell - Grand Rapids, MI    John Hieftje - Ann Arbor, MI
Bobby Hopewell - Kalamazoo, MI    Sylvester James, Jr. - Kansas City, MO
Edward Kelly - Cleveland Heights, OH    Mark Kleinschmidt - Chapel Hill, NC
Mark Kruzan - Bloomington, IN    Don Lane - Santa Cruz, CA
Timothy Leavitt - Vancouver, WA    Edwin Lee - San Francisco, CA
Lee Leffingwell - Austin, TX    Craig Lowe - Gainesville, FL
David Lublin - Town of Chevy Chase, MD    Karen Majewski - Hamtramck, MI
Jan Marx - San Luis Obispo, CA    Mike McGinn - Seattle, WA
Alex Morse - Holyoke, MA    Lori Moseley - Miramar, FL
Jeri Muoio - West Palm Beach, FL    David Narkewicz - Northampton, MA
Don Ness - Duluth, MN    Michael Nutter - Philadelphia, PA
Frank Ortis - Pembroke Pines, FL    Kitty Piercy - Eugene, OR
Steve Pougnet - Palm Springs, CA    Jean Quan - Oakland, CA
Thomas Richards - Rochester, NY    Clarissa Rowe - Arlington, MA
Matthew Ryan - Binghampton, NY    RT Rybak - Minneapolis, MN
Robert Sabonjian - Waukegan, IL    Helene Schneider - Santa Barbara, CA
Ann Schwab - Chico, CA Pedro Segarra - Hartford, CT
Eric Senter - Franklinton, NC    Jeffrey Slavin - Town of Somerset, MD
Paul Soglin - Madison, WI    Marilyn Strickland - Tacoma, WA
Angel Taveras - Providence, RI    Nick Tell - Manhattan Beach, CA
Elizabeth Tisdahl - Evanston, IL    Setti Warren - Newton, MA
Bruce Williams - Takoma Park, MD    Dana Williams - Park City Park, UT
I get a kick out of seeing Karen Majewski, mayor of Hamtramck, Michigan here. To the uninitiated Hamtramck is a self-contained city almost entirely within the city limits of Detroit, Michigan. It houses a Cadillac plant and many Polish immigrants. It is largely not at all the sort of coastal elite town one might expect to find on this list. I have some happy gay memories of stopping at the Clock diner and breakfasting alongside the first shift of UAW workers after a night of clubbing.

I don't see Detroit Mayor David Bing on the list. Come on David. Detroit has LGBT citizens too, let's have a renaissance for everyone!

Originally posted to Milk Men And Women on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:37 AM PST.

Also republished by Angry Gays.

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