New 50-state Mayors for the Freedom to Marry goals will Light Up the Map
September 16, 2013
In the last year and a half since the launch of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, nearly 400 mayors in cities and towns across the country have raised their voices in support of ending the exlcusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Today, Freedom to Marry launched a new step forward in the campaign to amplify support for marriage among our nation's mayors and demonstrate support among elected officials in every state in the country, Light Up the Map.
The new goal set for the program is reaching 500 mayors representing all 50 states. Currently, more than 370 mayors from 35 states and the District of Columbia are represented.
The Light Up the Map program features an interactive map highlighting the cities currently represented by Mayors for the Freedom to Marry in addition to identifying key cities where mayors are not yet a part of the campaign. There's an easy form that marriage supporters can use to urge their mayors to join and explain why marriage matters to them. The map is a great way for marriage supporters in states across the country to get engaged with the freedom to marry. TAKE ACTION HERE.
Today's announcement also saw the exciting introduction of five new co-chairs of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. The new chairs, Julián Castro of San Antonio, Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Kasim Reed of Atlanta, and Greg Stanton of Phoenix, join three current chairs Michael Bloomberg of New York, Thomas M. Menino of Boston, and Annise Parker of Houston. Five of the eight co-chairs live in states that continue to exclude same-sex couples from marriage.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter explained his decision to step forward as a co-chair of the program. He said:
Pennsylvania, like many states, is moving towards marriage equality, as more and more citizens and elected officials realize that inequality is not the direction of progress. Mayors for the Freedom to Marry is a unique way to bring the conversation back to our cities and towns, to show why marriage matters in our communities and how it improves the quality of life for our families.
Newly elected Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also applauded the program today and announced his excitement to play a leading role:
I'm proud Los Angeles has led the way on marriage for same sex couples, but we must extend our fight well beyond our city limits. Every American is entitled to the promise on which our nation was founded -- that all of us are to be treated equally. The momentum behind the freedom to marry is bringing us closer to achieving the American ideal, and I look forward to partnering with my fellow Mayors through this important effort.
San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro also celebrated the expansion of the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry program, saying:
In this increasingly competitive 21st century global economy, Fortune 500 companies have recognized the importance of having a diverse workforce. Prosperous cities gain great strength from celebrating and cultivating diversity, including the contributions of same-sex couples and their families. As co-chair of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, I look forward to bringing this message to other cities and towns in Texas and throughout the region.