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Freedom to Marry, a national organization founded in 2003 to win marriage nationwide, officially announced a new initiative Jan. 20 – Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. The effort includes a bipartisan coalition with over 75 mayors pledging to support marriage for gay and lesbian couples. The announcement came at the 80th annual U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.
The initial list includes cities large and small, with four of those located in Michigan. They include Mayors John Hieftje of Ann Arbor, George Heartwell of Grand Rapids, Bobby Hopewell of Kalamazoo and Karen Majewski of Hamtramck.
Marc Solomon, the national campaign director said in a press release, “We’re launching this effort at a time when more Americans than ever support the freedom to marry. When New York ended its exclusion of gay couples from marriage this summer, the number of people living in states that treat all committed couples equally more than doubled–from 16 million to 35 million Americans. Marriage is on the march in towns and cities across the nation and these mayors will play an important role in advancing the cause.”
San Diego’s Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders, a chair of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, explained why he has signed on to the effort. “Allowing loving and committed couples to join in marriage has benefits not just for couples and their families – -but also for society. Marriage encourages people to take responsibility for each other, provides greater security for children, and helps our country live up to its promises set forth in our founding documents. These are important values for a strong society, and we should encourage them.”
Readers can view a full list of mayors here,
The campaign will be working to grow this list in the coming year. Mayors can sign-up anytime online.