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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 20, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 03
175 mayors from 42 states launch coalition for LGBT protections

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination kicks off with pre-inauguration briefing in DC
Section One
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175 mayors from 42 states launch coalition for LGBT protections

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination kicks off with pre-inauguration briefing in DC

WASHINGTON, DC - On January 18, in advance of the presidential inauguration, 175 mayors across the country from cities large and small announced 'Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination,' a broad-based, nonpartisan coalition comprised of local officials who support equal protections and fair treatment for all LGBT people.

The launch was announced at a breakfast roundtable briefing and discussion among LGBT policy experts and dozens of mayors - including co-chairs of the coalition - at the Holland & Knight law offices in Washington, DC. The discussion centered on what mayors and local officials can do to support their LGBT constituents and advance equal protections at home, and took place alongside Freedom for All Americans and the Center for American Progress.

175 mayors from 42 states and the District of Columbia have joined the coalition to date. The co-chairs include San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee; Seattle Mayor Ed Murray; DC Mayor Muriel Bowser; and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. The full list of current Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination can be found at www.mayorsagainstlgbtdiscrimination.org.

'I'm proud of San Francisco's long-standing commitment to advancing and protecting the rights of our LGBT community, and of the tremendous contributions we've made to LGBT culture, history, and advocacy in America,' said Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco, founder and co-chair of Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination. 'By opening our arms and welcoming everyone, San Francisco is a safer, more diverse and stronger city in part due to the invaluable members of our LGBT community. The vision for Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination seeks to take the very best of the advancements for equality that have been made in cities such as San Francisco and provide a template to support mayors across the country who want to do what's right for their constituents, and join the efforts at the national level. We need all cities to stand together, in solidarity, to continue the progress towards equality, justice and opportunity. This coalition is committed to doing the hard work of education and advocacy until we achieve a society that ensures equal treatment for all.'

'I am committed to Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination because Seattle has long ensured full protections of our LGBT friends, family members, neighbors, and colleagues - which makes our community strong, diverse, and economically vibrant,' said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. 'As a long-time state legislator and Seattle's first openly gay mayor, it has been a priority of mine to fight for inclusion and LGBT equality. During a time when LGBT rights are again under attack nationally, we must stand up against discrimination and fight for equal treatment of all people in every community, town, and city in America.'

'When the District of Columbia passed an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, our city again stood up for fairness, equality, and dignity for all of our residents,' said Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. 'But when members of our community travel outside of Washington, DC on vacation or on business, they continue to face potential discrimination and a patchwork of unequal laws. It's time now for other cities, states, and the entire country to embrace LGBT nondiscrimination protections so no one faces unfair treatment simply because of who they are.'

'The city of Philadelphia is committed to being a fair and inclusive place where all people feel welcome, and this includes passing equal protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people,' said Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia. 'Full equality - no matter who you are or who you love - is not only good for our community; it's the right thing to do. Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination will work to make fairness and inclusion a reality everywhere.'

32 states still lack comprehensive protections for LGBT people and the new administration brings increasing uncertainty surrounding federal policies. Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination will provide support and resources that can be implemented immediately at the local level in order to advance equality and affirm the dignity of all. To learn more about the project, visit www.mayorsagainstlgbtdiscrimination.org.

Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.

Courtesy of Freedom for All Americans

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