Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Mayors from 42 states launch coalition for LGBT protections

by Cynthia Laird

In advance of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president, more than 175 mayors from cities large and small announced Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination, a broad-based, nonpartisan coalition made up of local officials who support equal protections and fair treatment for all LGBT people.

The news came January 18 as mayors were meeting in Washington, D.C. for the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

(San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, third from right, joined other mayors for the launch of Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination. Photo: Courtesy SF Mayor's office)

(San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, third from right, joined other mayors for the launch of Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination. Photo: Courtesy SF Mayor’s office)

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is founder and co-chair of the coalition, and praised the contributions of the LGBT community.

“San Francisco is a stronger city in part due to the invaluable members of our LGBT community,” Lee stated. “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.”

San Francisco next month will also institute a travel ban to several states with anti-LGBT laws.

As the Bay Area Reporter previously reported, San Francisco officials are expected to ban non-essential travel to four states – North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kansas – and possibly others, when its local travel ban goes into effect February 14, Valentine’s Day. The city’s ordinance also bans departments and agencies from entering into new contracts with businesses headquartered in the banned states.

Gay Seattle Mayor Murray is also a coalition co-chair, as are D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.

“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,” Murray said in the statement.

Bowser pointed to the District of Columbia’s work in passing an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. She said it was time for the entire country “to embrace LGBT non-discrimination protections so no one faces unfair treatment simply because of who they are.”

Kenney pointed out that full equality 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,” he said in the statement.

The mayors held a panel discussion Wednesday morning to talk about the coalition’s work. They also unveiled a new website.

According to the website, other Bay Area mayors who are part of the coalition are Jesse Arreguin of Berkeley, Libby Schaaf of Oakland, Pauline Cutter of San Leandro, Glenn Hendricks of Sunnyvale, Carol Durta-Vernaci of Union City, Glenn Sylvester of Daly City, Lisa Gillmore of Santa Clara, Alan Nagy of Newark, and Jill Techel of Napa.

Gay Mayor Christopher Cabaldon of West Sacramento is also part of the group.

Missing from the list is San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. The Bay Area Reporter reached out to his office and will update this post when we hear back.

[Updated, 1/19: A spokesman for Liccardo’s office said the mayor was in the process of joining the coalition Thursday.[end update.]

Freedom for All Americans, a bipartisan campaign to secure full non-discrimination protections for LGBTs nationwide, is a supporter of the coalition.

— Cynthia Laird, January 18, 2017 @ 3:43 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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