At its annual meeting Monday in Dallas, the U.S. Conference of Mayors overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on federal courts, including the Supreme Court, to expeditiously bring an end to marriage discrimination against gay couples nationwide.
Mayors from states that still ban marriage for same-sex couples, including Arizona, Texas, Ohio, Colorado, Missouri, and Georgia, were among those who led passage of the resolution. Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix – a co-chair of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry – was a leader in introducing the resolution.
“From small towns to big cities, America’s mayors know that including gay couples in the freedom to marry does nothing but strengthen families and communities for all,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry. “The U.S. Conference of Mayors has made it clear that it’s time for the federal appellate courts and the U.S. Supreme Court to follow the lead of numerous states and a wave of over 20 federal and state courts and bring an end to marriage discrimination nationwide. A year after the Supreme Court demolished the arguments propping up marriage discrimination, it’s time for the Court to finish the job and rule in favor of the freedom to marry once and for all.”
Gay couples can marry in 19 states and the District of Columbia, meaning that 44 percent of Americans live in a freedom to marry state, up from zero a little more than a decade ago. Nearly 60 percent of Americans support the freedom to marry and in the past year, 15 federal judges – appointed by both Republican and Democratic presidents – have found marriage discrimination unconstitutional, with zero ruling to the contrary.
Monday’s resolution, which passed by voice vote, states that: “The United States Conference of Mayors reaffirms its support of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples and urges the federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, to speedily bring national resolution by ruling in favor of the freedom to marry nationwide.”
The full text of the resolution is located here.
The Mayors for the Freedom to Marry statement reads:
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.
Freedom to Marry has worked with almost 450 mayors, most recently Greg Fischer of Louisville, Kentucky, in making the case for ending marriage discrimination.